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Chapter I— Introduction 

Chapter II— Facts 
Chapter III— Inquiries— Delhi 
Chapter IV— Inquiries—Bombay 
Chapter V— Scope of the Inquiry 
Chapter VI-Background of the Accused 

Chapter VH^Jarisiiction of the Commission 

Chapter Virr-^Po^ r 3 of a Minister ,^ \** rt ««* • 1 

4 minister and Ministerial responsibility 

Chapter IX—Panchgani incident 
Chapter X— Wardha incident 
Chapter XI-Accident to Gandhiji's special train 
Chapter XII— Conditions in Delhi 

"S^^ "~ le *"°S «P«> * .ad the' 

B_ What was happening in Delhi after the bomb was thrown 
G— Political conditions in Delhi 
D-Statements of officers of the Hone Ministry . 
E-The state of the Dalhi Administration 

F— Conditions at Birla Hnnw wtu„. 

ashramites took Hoase -Wk« precautions the 

G-Measures taken to protect Mahatma Gandhi 

H— Adequacy of Measures . 

I— Causes of Murder of Mahatma Gandhi . 
Chapter XIII—Alwa r Affairs 
Chapter XIV— Gwalior Affairs 




. 17—38 
. 39—51 
. 53^74 

• 75—83 

• 85—94 
. 95^114 
. 115—124 
. 125—126 

. 127—128 

. 131— 231 

■ 133—154 

■ 154—159 

Chapter XV— Poona 
Chapter XVI— Ahmednagar 
Chapter XVII-Razaka r Movement 

190 — 207 

. 207 — 217 

. 217—226 

226 — 231 



• 253—312 
. 313—352 

* 353—354 

Vol. I 

1—259 HA. 



1.1 This Commission was appointed by notification dated March 
22, 1965, S.O. 992. Mr. Gopal Swarup Pathak, M.P., was appointed 
to make the Inquiry. On his being appointed a Minister, I was 
appointed to conduct the Inquiry on November 21, 1966. The terms 
of reference were: — 

(a) whether any persons, in particular Shri Gajanan Viswa- 
nath Ketkar, of Poona, had prior information of the 
conspiracy of Nathuram Vinayak Godse and others to 
assassinate Mahatma Gandhi; 

(b) whether any of such persons had communicated the said 
information to any authorities of the Government of 
Bombay or of the Government of India; in particular, 
whether the aforesaid Shri Ketkar had conveyed the 
said information to the late Bal Gangadhar Kher, the 
then Premier of Bombay, through the late Balukaka 

(c) if so, what action was taken by the Government of 
Bombay, in particular by the late Bal Gangadhar Kher, 
and the Government of India on the basis of the said in- 

This notification was amended by notification No. 31/28/68-P'oll.I (A) 
dated October 28, 1968, making clause (c) to read as follows: — 

Xc) if so, what action was taken by the Government of 
Bombay, in particular by the late Bal Gangadhar Kher, 
and the Government of India and by the officers of the 
said Governments on the basis of the said information. 

1.2 To assist this Commission, Mr. G. N. Vaidya was engaged by 
the Government of Maharashtra and Mr. K. S. Chawla, Barrister-at- 
Law was appointed for the Government of India. The Government 
of India then replaced their counsel and engaged Mr. B. B. Lall, 
Advocate, who appeared before the Commission as from February 
10, 1968. Mr. G. N. Vaidya having been raised to the Bench, Mr. 
R. B, Kotwal took his place. 

1.3 After I was appointed to conduct the Inquiry, notices were 
issued under rule 2(1) (a) of the rules under the Commissions of 
Inquiry Act (Act LX of 1952) . 

1.4 The Commission examined 101 witnesses and 407 documents 
were produced by the two Governments and witnesses who appear- 
ed before the Commission. The examination of the witnesses took 
162 days at various places where the Commission had to sit for the 
convenience of the witnesses — Bombay, New Delhi, Dharwar, 
Nagpur, Poona, Baroda and Chandigarh. 

1.5 As the matter under inquiry was of great importance to the 
two Governments, the Commission allowed them full opportunity 

SiKnn L7* ? enC fl nd J° cross -^amine witnesses whom the Com- 

w£f and t J le Com mission is glad to say that the witnesses 

Swf e f , sum f . ned appeared most willingly and without demur 

Slw mm and em barrassment if not the discomfort of 

Kft Qr TTTT^ n - CoUnsel ar § ued their respective cases 
for 50 days out of which Mr. R. B. Kotwal took 37 days and Mr. B. B. 

if tan %* Commisslon bought it fit to give full latitude to Counsel 

SS,™^? 1 * 6 ?"? . CaseS before the Commission. A list of the 
sittings on different dates and the number of witnesses examined 
and their names are set out in the appendix I. 

frni 6 J?,T Commission is glad to say that it got full co-operation 

been JiSl^T! ** T^f ^ CoUnsel but for which " might have 
been difficult to make the Inquiry. 

1.7 The Report is in six volumes. The evidence recorded bv the 
rtn£STi° n ls + contamed in five volumes and the documents pro- 
duced before it are contained in another five volumes. Besides this 
the record of the proceedings before Judge Atma Charan had also to 
be perused as some of the statements were made parts of the evi° 
dence before the Commfssion. The case diaries of the Delhi Police 
investigation into the bomb case and the murder case and the Crime 
Report of the Bombay Police as also some of the files produced by 
the Government of India, Director, Intelligence BureaE and v the 

record rSl ° f P ° liCe ' ° elhi ' h&Ve been made P arts of the 

+u 1-8 ? he . Com mission wishes to thank all those officers who 
throughout assisted the Commission in its Inquiry and also those 
officers of the Government of India as well as of the Government of 

oSred^hv tL ^ h ° hSVe Pr ° dUCed the d ocumentary evidence re" 
quired by the Commission or were necessary to subserve the smooth- 
working of the Commission. In this matter, the GovernmenT of 
Maharashtra has been particularly helpful and they placed all the 

3 Ind a wS, Whl< ? W , erS 'I th , dr P osses ^n. The Government 
ot India have also placed such documents which were in their 

STtfo ft- DiXe i?° r > Intelli S en <* Bureau has also done the 
same. But for their willing co-operation it might not have been easy 
to conduct this Inquiry or to bring it to a successful end * J 

1.9 Commission wishes to thank counsel who have conducted 
their respective cases with diligence and ability. But for their 
assistance it might not have been possible to unravel the skein of 
tangled facts submitted before the Commission. 
_ 1.10 The scheme which the Commission has followed is this that* 

h^eToutTSLrlS n??^ t0 be . discus - d the CoSmisS 
nas set out a narration of facts giving its opinions on Questions of 
facts wherever necessary but as the Commission is a^a t-findin- 
body an d the conduct of several officers bf Government and hi 
action and inactions of Ministers has had to be inquired into and 
commented upon, the Commission thought it expedient in fl£ 
interest of justice to give wherever it was nece SS ary P fre Sum e of Ihe 
evidence of each of the important witnesses. This has in many 
cases, led to repetition and duplication but because the question of 
the respcms, hi, y „r officers and Ministers was involved the Com! 

^■IFSZttSr^i have In at r Ld h f T^ ** ° f *™ 
BOmmented upon but in such cales the Cntt^ "T^ m ° aad 

<> refer to all the documentarv anH ntv, miSS -!? n has been careful 
been placed before the 7nmS ? ther eviden ce which have 
se doc^TL^gSti? CaS f S the authors o? 

spiled under their directions It ^nT * hemselves or they were 
Persons who are dead W had to h ™ fortun fte that the actions of 
Inversely commented upon bu ftha wZ "S ^° ■ and betimes 
nature of the inquiry. Dut ^at was inevitable in view of the 

'^t^^^t^^J^^^^. in regard to certain 
put of India or due to reasom ItT 1 ? 1 , either becaus e ihey are 
l^pse of time. CwLS^^S^ S? ^ ™ mo ™* ^ to 

insistent with its duty which rt>l Fn ' aS , Xt Was Po^Me" and 

Bftding, conunentinTupoIth-lcti^^T had in regard to fact- 

Was absolutely unavoidable th? r - SUCh P , erSOns but wherever 

make its comments. aV ° ldable the Commission has not hesitated to 

indsub^apteL^In ctpterTAt^ ft? d 7 ided into chapters 
"ding to the setting up?f this Po^ "* th \ tacts Precedm/and 
IV the Commission has discussed fer S 1 Chapters III and 
»fter the murder of Mahatma Jandhi U * f",^ In <imrie S ' held 
«l 81st January after the wSfrf M^^r^^^ mads 
m the Constituent Assembly tK5 FA the interpella- 
te explanations given bvZS; i™ 1 ° f f he Mu rder case, and 
ter certain adverf e remarkftL ' e f^ 3 of Delhi and Bombay 
his judgment andthe^Sntegn^v ft? *<&» Atma Chara » * 
'-•eupon. At Bombay also thS^erl stil* 7°™™^ of India 
••'"de the interpellation in %Sf r .^.^P™* They in- 
quasi inquiry by the Inspector General oTpo^ff^t Asse mbly, a 
£ 'lie Bombay Legislative AsSlv i^oio' ^T^' th e debate 
" by the Bombay police XTthJJL 9 ' and , the emanation 
9»a sco Pe of the present W u ^ In Chapter V 

"mussed. Chapter VI deals wifh +£ k , g th e Inquiry have been 
"'." Murder case an ChSer^S ^° U - nd . of ^ accused iS 
mission. In Chapter VIH S 00^1^2 JUnsdic i tion of the C om . 

■ b< •en dealt with. constitutional responsibility of Ministers 

g^ffia^S S£?wh?n a t n h d discu r d the ««1 

"•ee incidents which harmJZn \Zl ■ n . the murder took place 
'■»"; ■'"•e dealt within ChaXs kKV ^ the murder in l«S«Sd" 
'•» Mahatma Gandhi at PancLani a5 PJ^l are the alle §ed attack 
***** of the Gandhi sB^'S3^SS5JS& «*** 

■ perSS ^ST sor?^ *S? »* and a «er 
JfA (...XII-I. i n chapter^ fxiU and ^^ h ^ ^-chapters 

"' I Ksraitor have been discussed the condl «ons at Alwar 

^^^&^^m oo^tions prevailing i n the 

? Sl^tt ^SSlSS and V w* Bemba. ^ 
U9 Chapter XXII deals f ^term o^ retoence^^ Mer toa 

head fall the investigation = at Mn^ x ^ v , 

divided into three chapters XXIU, «a , 

1110 bindings have been given in Chapter XCTL 

li In the toatte, -of W*g££ft elet/ln'ntolS&ld nnder 
British Parliament abent th » mjn ahee none y n to , h c mls 

said:— ^lSiVtv of the advocate on 

"Under our system irt.^ ^oth bSrister and soli- 
each side— I use that ternrto coy brought before 
citor-to seethat ^ *f .«j^„th adversary system 

the judge. ^-^noufsitoSl When, for example, a gov- 
as opposed tothe nqmsitoriaL w s ^ t ^ th 


fdvSaries, and ti^j^S^ 'TSd? Under the 
with powers to ^certain the^±a cte ^ g . de d 

ftfe-S^atl^^^ P— that way . 
than if he does the job himself. 
,n judging t-estote ^in^*, — SS^ * 

^ S^e «ion bas be« subieejed to ejitielsto — | 
complimentary and sometimes adverse uiose ^^ ^ 

jSial office may be imperviouS e tog* maj ^ mind ^ 

criticisms; but such criticisms are ^^^ such crit i c ism S cannot be 

^S^fS^X^ there may be some 

tional difficulty about it. Governor 

U, The C T rn^^sn^^^J^ *»^ he h£? 

General, Earl Mountbatten because ne witnesses fr0 m which 

iS^^^rr^&S regard to nralters 

Indere of Paragraphs 

2.2 - Jinnah's suggested exchange of population 

2.3 ' Mountbatten plan 

2.4 Direct Action Day and consequences thereof 

2.6 Refusal to pay cash balances 

2.7 Maulana's complaint 

2.8 Pressure on Mahatma for getting moneys paid 

2.9 Mahatma's fast 

2.14 Conspiracy at Poona 

2.15 & 19 Bomb explosion 

2.16 Movements of conspirators 

2.21 Investigation at Bombay and Delhi 

2.30 Murder of Mahatma Gandhi 

2.34 Bombay Inquiry 


2.1 Facts which have preceded and given rise to this reference are 

2 2 On December 10, 1945 Mr. Jinnah first suggested the possibility 
of the exchange of population "if it could be done purely on a volun- 
tary basis" which the Hindus and Sikhs and other non-Mushms of 
the PunSb North West Frontier Province, Sindh and Bengal re- 
nted most vehemently. On November 24, 1946 Mr. Jinnah at a 
P e rel conference at Karachi said that the question of e-ha^h°_uld 
L taken ud immediately to which the reaction of non-Muslims 
thro?ghout P India was most unfavourable though it was supported 
ay thf Muslim League but in the Punjab only one League leader 
supported it e.g. the Nawab of Mamdot. 

2 3 On 2nd June 1947 Lord Mountbatten announced a three-fold 
plan for solution of the Indian problem, one of which was the parti- 
tion of the country-Pakistan to have Muslim majority areas of the 
Punjab Sindh, Baluchistan and Bengal. There was to be a plebiscite 
SN.W.FP. but that also went in favour of Pakistan. A fortiori the 
rest of territories of the country were to form India. 

24 In pursuance of their demand for Pakistan the Muslirn League 
in about March 1947 observed what was the Direct Action Day the 
Snsequlnce of which was that Hindus, and Sikhs in 4b wester* .dis- 
tricts of the Punjab particularly in rural areas were subjected to 
indescribable atrocities which in one of the northern districts of the 
ptn%Twas termed the 'Rape of Rawalpindi'. Consequent upon this 
and particularly after the announcement of the Partition plan the 
Hindus and Sikhs of the western districts of Western Punjab started 
leaving their hearths and homes and migrated into eastern districts 
of the°Puniab, Delhi and into western U.P. which inter alia created 
a law and ord;r problem in those parte There had beenin 1«» what 
were euphemistically called Hindu-Muslim riots m Noakha i and 
Tipperah districts of East Bengal which had resulted in forcible con- 
versions, murder, rape, abduction, etc., of which the victims were 
solely Hindus. Mahatma Gandhi thereupon with a party of his 
ashramites went on a peace mission to Chaumuhani m Noakhali dis- 
trict on November 7, 1946 and remained m that district till March 3 
1947 After leaving Noakhali the Mahatma came to Bihar and Irom 
there came back to Calcutta and after visiting Kashmir and again 
visiting Patna and Calcutta returned to New Delhi on September 9, 
1947 and stayed at Birla House instead of at Bhangi Colony. 

2 5 From Noakhali he came to Patna via Sodepur near Calcutta. 
He returned to Delhi but went back to Patna and returned to Delhi 
on May 25 1947. From there he went to Srinagar and Jammu and 


Wah and again went to Calcutta on August 7, 1947. He finally re- 
turned to Delhi on September 9, 1947, after having stayed in a Muslim 
locality in Calcutta (Beliaghata) and when he arrived in Delhi he 
was shocked to hear about the riots in the capital — see 'Mahatma 
Gandhi' by Tendulkar, Vol. VIII, page 134. 

2.6 Sometimes in the end of December, 1947 the Government of 
India decided to postpone the payment of 55 crores ' Pakistan's share 
of cash balances. It was a freeze and the payment was to await an 
overall settlement. 

2.7 On January 4, 1948 the Delhi Maulanas complained to 
Mahatma Gandhi about their safety putting moral pressure upon 
him, which from all accounts greatly disturbed the Mahatma. 

2.8 According to some witnesses Lord Mountbatten also was 
putting moral pressure on the Mahatma in regard to the payment of 
55 crores, the non-payment of which, according to him, would have 
tarnished the fair name and honour of India. Pyarelal in his book 
at page 700 has given a slightly different version and has called it 
invited advice. He also impressed upon Mahatma Gandhi the 
necessity of exerting his influence to prevent the exodus of Muslims 
from Delhi to Pakistan. The Commission has not examined Lord 
Mountbatten and it expresses no opinion on the correctness or other- 
wise of statement regarding moral pressure. 

2.9 On January 13, 1948 at 11.55 a.m. the Mahatma undertook 
a fast with two objectives (i) to undo the decision regarding the 
payment of the cash balances to Pakistan, and (ii) to produce an 
atmosphere of' proper Hindu-Muslim amity in Delhi. A fuller 
account of this will be given later. On January 15, 1948, i.e., on the 
third day of the fast the Government of India announced that it had 
decided to pay the 55 crores cash balances to Pakistan immediately. 
This greatly incensed militant sections of the Hindus, particularly 
the Hindu Mahasabha. The Mahatma in his post-prayer speeches 
had been insisting that the Muslims should not be disturbed from 
their habitations and that the Hindu refugees who had come should 
not indulge in violence so as to create a situation which would force 
the Muslims to leave their homes. 

2.10 During Mahatma's fast there were processions taken to Birla 
House to protest against Mahatma's fasting in order to coerce Gov- 
ernment of India to pay 55 crores and to prevent the rehabilitation . 
of Hindu refugees into houses left vacant by the Muslims who had 
taken refuge in Purana Quila, Humayun's Tomb, etc. Some of the 
refugees were so incensed that they took out processions and slogans 
were shouted 'MARTA HAI TO MARNE DO' (If Gandhi wants to 
die, let him die). However, as a result of the fast an atmosphere 
was created which according to Pyarelal's book* softened the hearts 
of a large section of the Hindus and the leaders of the Hindus and 
the Muslims agreed to sign a four-point pledge to keep peace and 

•Malnifrnn (Jn.Ml.i tin- I i | [*h m < .Vol I! 


2.11 On the morning of January 18, 1948 the Peace Committee 
which had been formed after the Mahatma's undertaking the fast gave 
a pledge assuring Ga'ndhiji (i) that the annual fair at Khawaja 
Qutabuddin's Mausoleum at Mehrauli will be held as usual, (ii) 
Muslims will be able to move about in Delhi, (iii) Mosques left by 
the Muslims and taken possession of by Hindus and Sikhs will be 
vacated, Muslim areas will not be forcibly occupied, and (iv) the 
Hindus will not object to the return of Muslims who had migrated,. 
whereupon tH? Mahatma gave up his fast taking orange juice from 
the hands of Maulana Azad at 12.45 p.m. 

2.12 On January, 1948 a meeting under the auspices of the Hindu 
Mahasabha was held in which they expressed indignation over the 
payment of 55 crores, described Mahatma's fast as being helpful to 
Pakistan, a boost to the value of property of Muslims in Delhi and 
it was ridiculing the Hindus and Sikhs all the world over. Some 
derogatory remarks were made against Mahatma Gandhi calling him 
a dictator who would soon meet the fate of Hitler. On the 19th 
January 1948 the Secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha Mr. Ashutosh 
Lahiri issued a pamphlet Ex. P-25 in which he repudiated the Hindus 
being any party to the four-point pledge and repudiated those Hindus 
who were parties to it. - 

2.13 Police reports show that the Sikhs were also unhappy about 
the fast which was for the protection of Muslim rights and did not 
do anything for the Hindus and Sikhs. Police reports also show that 
the Mohammedans passed resolutions at two meetings on the 19th 
and 23rd January 1948 recognizing the selfless services of Mahatma 

2.14 We might go back a few days; a conspiracy was formed in 
Poona, Bombay etc. to murder Mahatma Gandhi in which some 
Maharashtrians and one Punjabi, Madanlal by name, were the parti- 
cipants. Gopal Godse's evidence discloses that the conspirators were 
many more though he does not say so in so many words. In pur- 
suance of the objects of the conspiracy the conspirators came to Delhi 
by air and rail between the 17th and 19th January and took up 
residence at hotels and the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan. On the 18th 
January 1948 some of the conspirators attended Mahatmajf s prayer 
meeting at Birla House at 5 p.m. That was to reconnoitre the place 
and the crowds. On the morning of 19th January 1948 some of them 
got accommodation at the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan. The Police 
case was that this they got by getting a chit from Nathuram Godse 
in the name of his friend the Secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha 
Bhawan, but this fact was not established. On 19th morning the 
conspirators met in the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan and in the after- 
noon chalked out a programme to kill Mahatma Gandhi. On the 19th 
January 1948 three of the conspirators Godse, Karkare and Apte went 
to the Birla House, took note of the Police arrangements there and 
surveyed the prayer ground. At 4 p.m. the same day i.e. :>9th 
January 1948 they again came to the prayer ground at 10 p.m. five 
Of them met at the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan and held confabula- 

U5 On January 20. 1948 Nathuram Godse was ill and tour of 
them again went to the Birla House to survey the place They 
.returned to the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan at 10.30 a.m. Somewhere 
at about mid-day tested their revolvers in the jungle behind Hindu 
Mahasabha Bhawan. In the afternoon they met at Marina Hotel 
and chalked out their final plan of action, 

k ?' 16 n^f' 4 ? *?* they Came t0 the Birla - House an d there on the 
.back wall Madanlal ignited a gun-cotton slab which has been called a 
bomb Madanlal was arrested at the spot and on search of his person 
a nandgrenade was recovered amongst other things. Three of them 
who were with Madanlal escaped in the taxi in which they had come 
and returned to Connaught Place. Three others who were in the 
.prayer meeting itself also escaped after mixing with the crowd At 
this stage their names and details of escape are not necessary Their 
movements! will be given in detail later. 

2.17 The two principal conspirators N. V. Godse and Apte left 

the same evening by train from Delhi main station and returned to 

.Bombay .ma Kanpur and Allahabad on the evening of 23rd January 

■wnf 2 *! 18 ^ e i h l rd S° pal Godse stayed the ni S ht at th e Frontier Hindu 
oi and left for Bombay the next morning by the Frontier Mail i p 
on 21st January 1948. The fourth Karkare g stayed in DeM So he 
afternoon of the 23rd and left Delhi on the 23rd January 1948 and 
by taking short distance trains and bus journeys and by breaking 
%£? ™ F en r0ute reached Kalyan on the morning of 26th Januarf 
1948. The remaining two Badge and Shankar took the Bomba? 
Express from Delhi Main Railway Station on the 20th January 1948 

Zfrf\ K fl RU °V he 22nd m0rnin ^ and then Prooeeded to Poona 
and reached there the same day. In this manner all the conspirators 
♦escaped from Delhi unnoticed and untraced and weS SS 5 
Bombay as shown above. 

2.19 On January 20, the bomb was thrown and on the 21st January 
morning newspapers came out with news about the bomb incident 

Delhi, &X 106-A, The Bombay Chronicle of Bombay, Ex. 107 came out 
witn prominent banner lines but The Hindustan Times, Ex 106-B 

'^M^cJn^S^ 06 an ^ : apt ^ 0n f ° Ut Kashmir-AGREED 
M ukmula ON KASHMIR— and then in column Nos. 4 and 5 another 

SffiS^ W ly f 0mi Tt r G P DffIJ I EAGER TO GO TO 

smlS^ ^e\Ls "Rl'b r n ° * JUSt gaW the Captlon in comparatively 

SrtRS'^ UP . near Prayer 1 g rounds " ^ then instill 
small letters Gandhiji did not even turn his head". 

2.20 The Times of India gave an account of what its Soecial 
Representative learnt in regard to the incident The Statesman 

3 %ff l°f the A st ^. tha T t there Was a formidable ploton^me 
of the Mahatma. A Police Inspector said, "The bomb was intended 
to create confusion even though it was powerful enough to toll many 

SnatSVtr 8 aPParentl I t0 b --ed%5LrtS 
Manatma nmiseli . The story given in the Bombay Chronicle of 


Bombay was that the person who threw the bomb confessed that he- 
hid done so because he did not like the peace campaign of Mahatma 

2.21 Two sets of investigations, independent of each other, were- 
started— one at Delhi under Ch. X1IV of Cr.P.C. and the other at 
Bombay. It is a matter of controversy under what law the latter* 
was undertaken and whether it was an investigation at all. But- 
without here deciding the question the Commission will call it an 
investigation as did Mr. Nagarvala himself in his letter Ex. 8. Trie- 
course of Delhi investigation was as follows. 

2.22 The First Information Report under sections 4 and 5 of 
Explosive Substances Act was lodged by Mr. K. N. Sahney, Magis- 
trate, 1st Class, Karnal, wit. 25 which was recorded at the Tughlaq 
Road Police Station at 6-30 p-m. and the investigation started there- 
after by the S.H.O. Sub-Inspector Dasondha Singh, wit. 14. 

2.23 Before the First Information Report was actually recorded. 
Madanlal was searched and a handgrenade was found on him show- 
ing his real intention as anything but innocent. He was questioned. 
at the Birla House and was then taken to the Parliament Street Police- 
Station where some high ranking police officers interrogated him and 
he is alleged to have made a statement, Ex. 6, which has given rise- 
to a sharp controversy. But this much is uncontroversial that he 
gave the name of Karkare and also disclosed where he and his com- 
panions had stayed- The two places mentioned by him, i.e., Marina 
Hotel and the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan were raided and in the* 
formei it was discovered that two of the conspirators stayed under 
assumed names of 'S' and 'M' Deshpande and they had hurriedly 
left. In the room where they stayed a document Ex. P-25 was found,. 
showing their close connection with the Hindu Mahasabha which is 
noted in paragraph 17 of the first case diary. 

2.24 On the 21st January a remand of 15 days was obtained, 
Madanlal was taken to the Civil Lines Police Station where he was: 
interrogated and this interrogation continued upto the 24th January 
when he made a fuller statement, Ex. 1, wherein he mentioned the- 
proprietor of the 'Hindu Rashtriya" paper as a co-conspirator but 
did not mention the "Agrani" or the editor. 

2.25 On further enquiry it was discovered that the number of the 
taxi by which the culprits had arrived at Birla House and which was ; 
noted down by the witnesses was a wrong number as that was the 
number of a G.N.I.T. bus. 

2.26 On the same day two police officers were flown to Bombay 
but the case diary No. 2 A of their departure does not show what 
documents, if any, were taken by them and what exactly they were 
required to do in Bombay and there was no mention of a requisition 
required under section 54 (Ninthly) Cr.PC. 


2.27 On 23rd January, Kali Ram, a bearer of the Marina Hotel 
produced some clothes three of which had the marking 'N.V.G.' but 
it does not appear that either the Delhi Police or the Bombay Police 
.made any use of this discovery. There is no evidence that it was 
ever conveyed to Bombay Police. 

2.28 Interrogation continued on the following day and with the 
permission of the District Magistrate, one Mehta Puran Chand, 
Advocate, interviewed Madanlal while his interrogation was going 
on which naturally had to be interrupted. A copy of the full state- 
ment of Madanlal was given to Mr. U. H. Rana, D.I.G., C J.D., Bombay 
on January 25, 1948, and he proceeded to Bombay the same night 

-via Allahabad because flying did not suit him but surely he did not 
need to go via the Triveni, unless no accommodation in the direct 
train could be arranged for him. Meanwhile on the 24th the Delhi 
policemen who had gone to Bombay returned and on 25th they made 
a complaint of the treatment or mistreatment that they had received 
at the hands of Mr. Nagarvala and of the Bombay Police. 

2.29 It is stated that special policemen were posted at important 
places in order to trace the culprits. The interrogation of Madanlal 
continusd but nothing useful was discovered. On the 29th January 
1948 the police discovered the taxi used for the commission of the 
offence and also who its driver was. 

2.30 On 30th January, 1948, while the Mahatma was proceeding 
ix> the prayer meeting and had: just stepped on to the prayer ground, 
he was shot at by Nathuram Godse who was arrested there and then 
and his name given then was 'Narayan Vinayak Godse'. The diary 
shows that he was the accomplice in the Bomb Case who was describ- 
ed by Madanlal as the editor of the "Rashtriya" newspaper Poona. 

.A photograph of the assassin's pistol is attached herewith. (See next 

2.31 The other culprits who had accompanied Nathuram Godse 
escaped from Delhi and subsequent investigation was carried on in 
Bombay under the direction of Mr. U. H. Rana by Mr. J.'D. Nagarvala 
;as the Special Additional Superintendent of Police, Delhi. 

2.32 It is not necessary at this stage to trace the movements of the 
conspirators who escaped after the bomb was thrown. Godse and 
Apte the two principal conspirators had escaped to Bombay reaching 
there on the 23rd,* They went via Kanpur and Allahabad. They 
flew back to Delhi on January 27, 1943 under assumed names and 
then took a train to Gwalior where they stayed for the night at Dr. 
Parchure's house. The next day they purchased a pistol from one 
Goel and returned to Delhi on the morning of the 29th and stayed, 
at the Delhi Main Railway Station in a retiring room where they 
were met by Karkare. On the 30th they first practised in a jungle 
behind Birln Mnndir "pistol shooting", reconnoitred the Birla. House 
which they had as s matter of fact done the previous day also and 
Nathuram ( rodso committed Mir <>nvurc on iii<> ::oiii ,-a n.oo p.m. after 
he h> i i lid M . ol al th • i itutes ot I Ihlvaji Maharaja and 

Bfljil ir) IV ihi I 













2.33 Nathuram Godse was arrested at the spot as above stated but 
Apte and Karkare again escaped from Delhi and went back to 
Bombay where they were arrested on 14th February 1948 under 
circumstances which would indeed be romantic had the matter been 
not so tragic. 

Bombay Inquiry 

2.34 The scene now shifts to Bombay where on an information 
given by Prof. 3*™x investigation was carried on between 21st 
January and 30th January. This is an unfortunate chapter of oppor- 
tunities missed, errors committed and of assuming exaggerated 
notions about oneself. After the explosion of the bomb Prof. J. C. 
Jain of the Ruia College got a little unnerved because Madanlal had 
disclosed to him before going to Delhi that he and his companions 
were going to murder Mahatma Gandhi which he had considered to 
be a mere boast though in fact he did not take the matter so light- 
ly. But he was hesitant, dithering and failed to give this informa- 
tion to any authority. 

2.35 On the 21st he met the Premier and the Borne Minister of 
Bombay and made them the recipients of this vital information with 
a request to Mr. Morarji Desai not to disclose his name to anyone. 
Mr. Morarji Desai in his turn called the D.eputy Commissioner of 
Police Mr. Nagarvala, but as he could not come at once he asked 
him to come to the Central Station of the B.B. & C .1. Railway from 
where he was leaving for Ahmedabad to give this vital information 
to Sardar Patel. Mr. Morarji Desai conveyed to Nagarvala the 
information that he had received and directed him to arrest Karkare 
and his associates and to watch the house of Savarkar because both 
these persons were mentioned by Prof. Jain to him. 

2.36 Nagarvala promptly got into touch with his contacts and his 
informers, instructing them to locate Karkare and his associates. 
l te learnt from Ahmsdnagar that Karkare was not there. 

2.37 It is not necessary at this stage to give a resume of what Mr. 
Nagarvala did or what steps he took. But briefly stated, he learnt 
that one Balraj Mehta and Av*tar Singh of the Sher-i-Punjab Hotel 

•wore in the conspiracy. Information from Ahmednagar was that 
Badge of Poona, a dealer in illicit arms, was a close associate of 
Karkare; and his contacts informed him that Savarkar was the real 
instigator of the conspiracy and his illness was feigned. Savarkar's 
house was kept under watch. Nagarvala's informants also told him 
that there were many other conspirators, about 20 Punjabis and 
(Vhharashtrians, with a large following, Efforts were made to find 
out the haunts of those persons. From 22nd onwards the police tried 
to find out the whereabouts of Karkare and Badge, particularly in 
Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan at Parel. Watch was kept on the Arya 
Pathik Ashram where two suspicious looking Punjabis were staying. 
They were suspected to be associates of Balraj Mehta. 

2.315 Mr, Rana the D.T.G. (C.I.D) arrived in Bombay on the 27th 
iiinl stayed with I VI r NNij^irvnln who told him <>f t!ir steps he had 


taken upto then and both of them had a long distance talk with Mr. 
banjevi the DJl.B and then gave him full details of what had been 

M l ben { Rana H d taken with him the statement oflS 
al winch he showed to Nagarvala who read one or two pages but 

K™\ n baC V r ° m o him Say ,! ng " Was t0 ° lon § and Promised to send 
him a copy from Poona which he never did. 

Mofl 39 Aft ^ j he , murder wh en Nagarvala learnt the name of 
Nathuram Godse, he arrested the various suspects and interrogated 

had a Sen S ^ CIet fl f/^ 6 and Ms Bod yg^rd Kasar. LiSye wha 
murderer AntfS, ?£ the P olice £* if Nathuram Godse was the. 

SSfeST* ave been Wlth him and tbatthey must have 

2.40 The murder of Mahatma Gandhi, who was acknowledged to< 
be the Father of the Nation and who had not only preached but 
practised non-violence for four decades and who had led India to 
independence, produced anguish and even consternation not only 
amongst the leaders of public opinion and the Government of the- 
day, but also amongst the millions who constituted the newly emerg- 
ed independent Indian nation. 

2.41 Everyone was anxious to know how the apostle of peace and 
non-violence could meet such a tragic end. And, therefore what one- 
may conveniently call inquiries were started both in Delhi and in 
Bombay which were the two places principally concerned with the 
tragic events culminating in the murder of the Mahatma. 

*i, 2 o1 2 . T ? Delhi there were four inquiries: (1) an informal one on> 
the 31st January, 1948, (2) interpellation in the Constituent Assembly 
on February 6, 1948, (3) trial of the accused in the Court of Judge 
Atma Charan, Special Judge, and (4) explanation called from the- 
police officers who had been in charge of Mahatma Gandhi's protec- 
tive measures and of the investigation after the bomb wa s exploded. 

2.43 In Bombay similarly there were what may, for the want of 
a better word, be called inquiries. Including the court case which 
™ a L ™ e , ' th . re were five inquiries in Bombay: (1) interpellation: 
in the Bombay Legislative Assembly; (2) explanation called by Mr. 
Kamte Inspector General of Police, from Mr. U. H. Rana, Deputy 
Inspector General of Police and his explanation; (3) the trial in the, 
Court at Delhi of Judge Atma Charan; (4) Cut Motion in the Bombay 
Legislative Assembly in March 1949; and (5) the explanation of Mr. 
J . D. Nagarvala, Daputy Commissioner of Police and what followed 
thereupon. These will be briefly dealt with in the following 


Index of Paragraphs 

3.1 Meeting at Sardar Patel's house on 31-1-1943— 

1st Innniry 

3.20 Interpellations in the Constituent Assembly 

3.26 Third Inquiry I 

3.28 Fourth Inquiry 

3.31 Ex. 7, note of Mr. Sanjevi as explanation 

3.42 Mr. Rana summoned by Mr. Sanjevi, Ex. 7 contd. 

3.49 Ex. 7 contd. Ex. 9 attached 

3.51 Note, Ex. 7, summed up 

3.53 Mr. Iengar's remarks / 

3.54 Letters of Mr. Nagarvala, Exs. 8 and 9. 


Inquiries — Delhi 

First Inquiry 

3.1 The shock of Mahatma's murder and the fact that it could be 

committed openly in the prayer grounds in spite of the precautions 

■ ikon led to an inquiry at the earliest opportunity as to where the 

' i tigs went wrong. This was by way of an informal meeting where 

Hi'' matter was discussed. 

/ ■AIv ° b ^ ect ° f this meetin & according to Mr. R. N. Banner jee 
(wit. 19), was to devise measures to protect the living ie the 
Ministers and other high dignitaries. It also appears that the 
im'otmg reviewed the circumstances which led to the assassination 
D Orandhiji despite previous warnings and the facts disclosed by 
M.idanlal's statement. 

3.3 After the funeral, a meeting was called at a very short notice 
', ;,« * se of the Home Minister in the evening of 31st January, 
948. According to Mr. Bannerjee's statement before Mr. Pathak as 
ltness No. 17, the following were present: Prime Minister Nehru 
Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Patel, Mr. B. G. Kher, Premier of 
Mombay, Mr. Rajagopalachari, Governor of West Bengal and Mr 
B innerjee and Mr. Sanjevi, Mr., D. W. Mehra's note Ex. 10-A dated 
February 1, 1948, besides these names, gave the names of Raikumari 
Amnt Kaur, Mr. Morarji Desai, the Chief Commissioner and him- 
Mi'll. A copy of this note is Ex. 10-A produced by Mr. D. W Mehra 
before this Commission. 

3.4 The confessional statement of Madanlal was read by Mr 

■ I injevi, who also said that he had sent a copy of that statement 

"• ,™ ? Ce officers ' who wejre Sown to Bombay on 21st Janu- 

1948, but the two police officers returned after two or three 

»nd complained that the Bombay police did not take any 

BOtlce of them and had asked them to return to Delhi and that they 

•Uld themselves look into the matter. The confessional statement 

»l Madanlal was then read which disclosed a conspiracy to murder 

M.ihatma Gandhi which had been in existence for some time In 

II"- statement, Madanlal had given names and particulars of the 

mnspirators, two or three haunts in Bombay which were men- 

, "'; t£J85&yU&$ s „ of inspirators and Madanlal told the 

|».l«ce, "PHIR AYEGA". From this Mr. Bannerjee understood that 
mnspirators would return to Delhi to kill Mahatma Gandbi At 
!■■<• 'Iiscussion it came out that Godse had reconnoitred the prayer 
»OUnd at Birla House on the evening of the 29th, ie., a day before 
II"- murder. It also came out at the meeting that Mr. Sanjovi gave 



no information to either the Deputy Commissioner of Delhi or to Mr- 
Bannerjee. Mr. Bannerjee said: — 

"I will put it to gross incompetency and lethargy on the part 
of Mr. Sanjevi that he did not care to inform either me or to- 
remind the Bombay police as to what action they had been 

Mr. Sanjevi said at that meeting that he had not reminded the 
Bombay police after the return of the Delhi police officers sent by 
him. This emerged in the course of the meeting. Everyone present 
was m great anguish and Mr. Sanjevi admitted that he had not re- 
minded the Bombay police. 

3.5 Mr. Bannerjee was recalled before this Commission. He 
added that besides the gentlemen he had named before, Mr. Shan- 
karrao Deo was also present at that meeting. The account that he 
gave at this hearing was that the confessional statement of Madan- 
lal which had been recorded earlier was read out. He said; — 

"This was the first intimation that we from Pandit Nehru 
downward got that there was a confessional statement and 
certain information was contained in it which if properly 
utilised would have resulted in the arrest of those persons 
who were participants in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. 
In the statement, the particulars and the haunts of some of 
the persons who were subsequently accused and convicted of 
murder were given. If the police had been vigilant, it should 
have been possible for them to have arrested those persons. 5 ' 

3.6 Mr. Bannerjee added: — 

"None of us knew about the particulars of this conspiracy. Mr. 
Sanjevi never gave us any information about it. When he was 
asked why he had not done s o, he just said, 'he was sorry he 
just did not do it'. I put this due to the incompetency and 
lethargy of Mr. Sanjevi not to have informed or to have 
ordered the Bombay police to send their men here or to have 
reminded the Bombay police in regard to the information 
which was sent to them." 

3.7 Mr. Bannerjee was asked by the Commission as to whether 
Ex. 6 or Ex. 36 the first alleged statement of Madanlal was read out 
or some other statement. His reply was that he could not recollect 
what was read out but what was read out gave more particulars 
about Bombay haunts and about THIS AYEGA'. Commission then 
showed him Ex. 5, the original of which is Ex. 5-A, and he was 
asked if that statement was ever shown to him. He replied: — 

"We never saw any papers. Some papers were in the hands of 
Mr. Sanjevi and he read out extracts therefrom." 
He added that he understood from Mr. Sanjevi's statement that full 
confessional statement of Madanlal was sent to Bombay, the subs- 
tance <>r whirh was that Apte and Godse must have gone back to 
<> n,> <> r th*ir hMlitl In Bombay. But no such statement has been pro- 
duced hrforv Uh* < \muni:;:;ion. 


W fc 3 ' 8 l£ cross - ex t mi T na , tio n by Mr. Vaidya, Mr. Bannerjee said that 
when they came back from the cremation of Mahatma Gandhi a 
meeting was called at a very short notice where everybody was in a 
mournful mood, and "the Sardar asked Sanjevi what had happened 

TW? Cam f- ° Ut W / th ^ e m m%m that the names had been S to 
Bombay police and nothing wa s done there. It was that part which 

S^ffif 1 5 b7 ^ ? anje ^ ? ^ ' Mr ' Bann ^jee added tnlt 

tt 5tf tw f gre ^ an f r h ^ d so were " we au but i toid 

bardar Patel that he could not have done anything more than to ask 
his police to be vigilant- Further, he said:- 

"I feel it very difficult to be able to reconcile this statement of 
the Superintendent of Police, C.I.D., with the scene I recall 
of the meeting of the 31st January, 1948, at which everybody 
was m extreme anguish and was surprised to hear that there 
was a conspiracy and the names of the conspirators were dis- 
closed m the statement of Madanlal." 

Mr. Bannerjee again repeated that the words "PHIR AYFOA" 
were mentioned at the meeting on the 31st January by Mr Sanievi' 
He thought it was Mr. Sanjevi but he could not WeSkl^ho 
said these words. Those words did come at the meeting but he ccSd 
not say for certain by whom they were said. He thenlddecf that he 
might have heard these words later after the meeting. 

mJ; 9 ^' B 5 mnerje .l als ? said that after the 3 0th January Govern- 
ment felt rather guilty about not. having taken preventive or pu™- 
tzve action against the R.S.S., although in Ite^MnS^^Sn 
those who conspired to murder Mahatma Gandhi did not do so as 
members of the RS.S. "An informal decision a fU ^ postfunera 
meeting was hat the R.S.S. should be banned in^MS 15 
secre instructions should issue to Provincial Governments the same 
m K ^ ut /° meh0W ° r the other the news of S?ffl^t 
-and the leaders of the movement went underground ^ \fr Banne? 
ee categorically stated that at that meeting lobody from top to 
the bottom knew that a statement had been made by EanS £ 
what the contents of the statement were. J Maaanlal or 

3.10 There is some documentary evidence to show aq t« ?*kl'i +u Q 
meeting was held *nd what was stated by m^^h^t S§ 
the dates do not accord. There is a difference of a cSy ' 

3.11 In his letter, Ex. 7-A, dated February 20, 1949 to Mr H V Tt 

His Excellency the Governor-General (then Governor ofWe^ 
Bengal) , the Premiers of U.P. and Bombay and Mr ShanhS 
rao Deo were also present." onanxar- 

w'"' "l"! '^V.r'"/" 1 •r 1 '" &* acconvp.nnyin,. Nol,. 10k •/ H winch 

i: t u^'ml ' " ,v,; "'^ r ■ 'I*™* 


o-7o 3 ' 12 Accordin S to the personal diary of Miss Maniben Patel, Ex.. 
I h on ere was a meetin g af ter the cremation on 31st January 194ft 
at 7-30 p.m. Those present were Rajaji, Pantji, Balasahib Kher,. 
Mehra, Bannerjee, Shankarrao Deo, Shankar and Mr. Jairamdas 
Daulatram. Balasahib Kher talked on the phone to Mr. Morarii 
Desai at Bombay and Raja Maharaj Singh also talked from Bombay 
to Mr. Nehru on the phone. 

3.13 In the note Ex. 7-B in paragraphs 2 and 3 are given the steps 
taken m regard to augmenting the police personnel. Besides the 
uniformed police, one Sub-Inspector, four Head Constables, and two 
Constables m plain clothes, armed with revolvers were deputed for 
the personal security of the Mahatma. Three were stationed on the 
pathway which led to the prayer meeting and their duty was to spot 
possible offenders. Uniformed police at the gate had instructions to 
stop ail persons about whom they had any doubt. 

3.14 The police officers on duty were given the descriptions of 
the men who were with Madanlal when the bomb had exploded and; 
they were told to keep a sharp lookout for them. There is how- 
ever, no evidence of these officers having been of any utility what- 
soever or to have done anything to prevent Godse and others like 
him getting near Gandhiji. 

• + 3 '^ A £. account of this meeting is also given by Mr. M. K Sinha 
ml' ft ^ s , ste - te ment is mere hearsay because he was not present." 
What he stated was that after the funeral, there was a meeting at 
the Home Minister's house and among those present were the Prime 
Minister, the Chief Minister of U.P. and several others including Mr 
R. N. Bannerjee. Mr. Sinha said, "I was also told that Madanlal's 
confessional statement was read by Pantji and he asked Sanjevi a* 

™7 T, IS? J 10 *! a , rrest °/ a P an & e to get these persons who were 
named by Madanlal arrested". His reply was that no names had 
been mentioned in the statement but Pantji told him that descriptions 
and some addresses were mentioned and he could easily have had! 
them arrested only if he had taken the trouble to do so. 

3.16 Even though the Evidence Act does not strictly apply to pro- 
T^lf, het °l e th % Com ™ssion, yet the Commission does not think 
it right to take into account this hearsay evidence even though it 
may be corroborative in nature. tnou & n it. 

3.17_So this was the first inquiry, an informal one no doubt, where 
Sanjevi was asked as to what had happened. He produced a confes- 
sional statement of Madanlal which, according to Mr. Banneriee 
contained the names and haunts of some of the accused According 
to Miss Maniben Patel, wit. 79, Sanjevi had said that hehad./nt f 

wT7 VX tU ?\ St ? eme ^ ma / e b y Madanlal tS suttance a of which 
7?T+T,i2 that ^ Pte an ^ God ?e must have gone back to Bombay, 
(2) there were two or three hanuts at Bombay. That is what Mr 
Bannerjee has also stated. Thus, it appears from th£ eviSce that 
the question of eonspiraey was first disclosed at this S 
Sanjcv, road out Irom the eon fessional statement of Madnnhd but 
What Or Which thai ,„„!,:;: ,| .l.lnn,,! w;l; ; , ;; ,,,,,' ,™ 


™^t ^\rl de ^rP T °t UCed before this Commission. No state- 
SwSSiK 6611 produced before the Commission which 
comprises all that Mr. Bannerjee says was said at the meeting. 

mri 1 ^^' D ' + W- ^ m haS P roduced before the Commission a 
S tv, v n f Which was P re P ared by him and was presented 
before the high-powered meeting, Ex. 10-A. It is a copy of Ex. 10 
wth the note of Mr. Sanjevi Ex.7. It sets out the increase in the 
number and deployment of police at the Birla House after the Bomb 
incident It mentions that screening of visitors was suggested by 
Superintendent Bhau'a to Mr. Brij Krishan Chandiwala which he 
would not agree to and then a similar suggestion by Mr. Mehra him- 
self to Gandhiji was also rejected. It then gives an account of the 

Xadanla? ™n rreSt SL N T athuram Gods e ** **> what statement 
Madanlal made on 20th January, wherein he gave only one name 
and there is no mention of the editor of the 'Agrani'. 

nrpin 9 +' A a ?+^ St W ? at ma y- be termed non-officials who were 
present at this meeting were Mr. C. Rajagopalachari, Mr. Jairamdas 
Daulatram, and Mr. Shankarrao Deo, who fortunately are ahJebut 
2StW I 6 ? mmisslon to Set them to appear before it proved 
fruitless because for one reason or another they did not appear and 
they pleaded complete forgetfulness about the incident Thus 
very valuable evidence about what explanations were given by" Mr' 
Sanjevi remained unavailable to the Commission. But Commission' 
well understands the position of these eminent citizens of India? 
Itt,n U tL^f a e -i and , laP if e + + f °r*,*»o decades, might well have for^ 
Son took place at that very sad and unhappy 

Second Inquiry | 

3.20 The Members of the Constituent Assembly took the earliest 

2 P ?WriS,, Int f Pdla ^ ^ H ° me Minister to elici * iSormaS 
?,„?> circumstances leading to the assassination of Mahatma 

£ St ' a W 1C + i 1S Sh ° Wn by . Ex - 142 dated February 6, 1948. In reply 
to Mr. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar, Sardar Patel gave details 2 

Ze P ln^ n kl a ^r,V^ h r h inddent and\Is G o whatwas 
u ne alter it. He gave the details of increase in the strength of the 

Police stationed at Birla House and also the number of plain clothes 
.ohcemen deployed there and the instructions given to the Po ice 

i?^ ' V aid ' considered that they should be allowed to" 

search every stranger attending the prayer meetings but To this 

Candhiji did not agree. Sardar Patel stated that he had himseS 
•leaded with Gandhiji for allowing the Police to do their duty In 

;■; r.ard to his protection but he was unsuccessful and that as the 
,e f apprehended, thi ^ w ^ ak s P°t was successfully taken advant! 

'•go of, by the assassins and Gandhiji was murdered. davan * 

3.21 In supplementary questions the Home Minister ™ ao , c v^ 

-to the precautions taken to prevent the ^KrfiteSddS? these precautions were and whether sufficient «w ™2 

I 1 '" * JJNCJ the lite of the Ministers ofVvSmenV ^Tne h££ ropl.od Il.nt consistent with the Wishes and irKlinaTions™ 

Ministers sufficient precautionary measures had been taken. There 
were supplementary questions by another Hon'ble Member about 
JMathuram Godse and whether the Police had lost track of him, In 
reply the Home Minister said that after the arrest of Madanlal a 
copy of the statement of Madanlal was taken to Bombay C.I.D. 
Arrests were not made because it was considered inexpedient to 
do so as by so doing the other conspirators would have gone under- 
ground. Therefore, after consultation between the Bombay and the 
Delhi Police it was decided that for the moment no arrests should 
be made. The Bombay Police was on the track of the conspirators 
but they were not all in Bombay. 

3.22 Asked whether photographs could have been procured of 
those persons, the reply was that all of them, were not at one place 
and it was not possible to have photographs of people like that. 

3.23 The Home Minister also stated that it was not possible for 
the police to take any precautions without consultating Mahatma 

3.24 So this interpellation shows that — 

(1) The police considered the search of visitors to Birla House 
the most efficacious form of protection to which the Mahatma* was 
not agreeable. i 

(2) There was after the bomb an increase in the number of 
policemen stationed to guard Birla House and a detachment of 
troops was also stationed to guard and prevent trespassers. 

(3) After the arrest of Madanlal a copy of his statement was 
taken by Delhi Police to Bombay C.I.D. 

(4) After consultations between the Bombay Police and Delhi 
Police it was decided not to make arrests for the moment, in order 
to prevent the conspirators going underground, 

(5) Bombay Police were on the track of the conspirators. 

(6) All the conspirators were not at one place and, therefore it 
was not possible to get their photographs. 

3.25 Now there are inaccuracies in these answers and in one parti- 
cular it is a question for determination as to what document was 
taken by the Delhi Police officers to the Bombay C.I.D. The Com- 
mission has little or no evidence to show that the Police knew that 
the group of conspirators was at one place or different places or 
where they individually or collectively were. As a matter of fact 
the police had not been able to establish the identity of the conspira- 
tors till after the murder. 

Third Inquiry 

3.26, Then there was the trial of the accused for conspiracy to 
murder Mahatma Gandhi in the Court of Judge Atma Charan 
Special Judge. An appeal against Ibis judgment was Laken to the 

East Punjab High Court where It was heard by e Full Bench who 


SffHSkMf if If SM ° f ** "»«**ed Persons i.e. 
dealt m^A^^^S^S!^^- Thisha sbeen 

with whS tni al A SS Srt dSr'f/^ agahlSt the P ^e 
of all blame. disagreed and exonerated the Police 

Fourth Inquiry 

(i^^Bt^&s^ £S ^7\ the r lice h ? Jud ^ 

lack of a better word bewailed SwE ^ f ° r what ma y f °r the 
Police officers regarding SoS Sir! *?L* ^ Invest igating 
course of investigation pf the BfcSh P». ^V? phes show the 
Bombay and what the 2hZ!^ bo,h , ]n Delhi and in 
judge's adverse comments ^ ComlissioTwin fi 6P W he lea ™ ed 

as to the investigational processes in Bombay." Nagarvala had *° say 

^^^T^l^^^S^.l^ the Com- 
Bureau, the late Mr SaniPvi a*J Tte ^ en Dlrec =tor of Intelligence 

Minister and was S^SSS^^^SX^ ° f the Home 
to Judge Atma Charan's strictures 22 ^n^ion in reply 
som e US ef u i information and £ more S ?p! a ' P ° + llCe - Tt cont ^s 
of events but because of its excuWo™ t a / ont emporary record 

opin^n of so highly ^^^^^^1 

MA^W^^^ST R W r M Sh0W how Mr 
and what according to him he J& ftt De n • H °"% B ° mb Ca ^ 
">spectively done, what investigating V hl and B <>mbay had 

what information 'was conTeyed^oZJ^ £**£■ ° ut ' and also 
J^spective forces. y a l0 " lm b ? the officers of the two 

is impoSnt EX - ? iS dlvided into " ^-graphs each one of which 

M^mM^$SkMi ^ haS set ^ the facts of 
* the bomb by MadLSB^ anThT/ ™' *& and ^tion 
-■■"•ape of his companions; recover? *f 1 T^ at the s P°t and 
Possession; his interrogation and hk £ J he ^grenade from his 
'rationing Karkare aid editor of t L 11^* °? the 20th January 
"'others; formation of the con S Diracv^ ni a ? d givin ^ description^ 
; Jt&rs came to Delhi, where thevsS/ Bombay; how the conspi- 
'•"". ■'•«> TVi hi Police had a fair M- f ^tthey did. Theft 

PWceed against the editor of n ' w s «"Koiont m.-.toririi ,„ 


consDiracv and apprehend the conspirators. And if the Bombay 
pS was informed, it should have been easier still for them. 

3 33 The course of investigation at Delhi is then given and also 
their making inquiriss at Jullundur where they drew a blank. 

3 34 It then states that Mr. Sanjevi himself visited the scene of 

somewhere in the Delhi District Record Room. 

3 3<i The Delhi Police continued with its investigation and ordered 
its C I D to be on the look-out for the conspirators whose descrip- 
tion^ wre given in a document Ex. 244 which is a bund e o f^orreej 
tions, contradictory descriptions and a mere look at it will show 
its worthlessness. 

3 36 Paragraph 4 sets out the protective measures taken at Birla 
House It shows that the previous strength of the guard consisting 
of a Head Constable and 4 Constables which were placed at Birla 
n " " September 1947, was increased after the throwing of the 
gomb £ fSant Sub- inspector 2 Head C 'ffff^g^SS 
Constables In addition, a plain clothes staff of 1 bub-Inspector, 
4hSlSJ^ and 2 Constables, all armed with revolvers were 
also detailed for protective duty. The note then mentions the pre- 
cautions in the nature of search of persons attending the prayer 
SitSs which were sought to be taken, but could not be taken 
because of the objection of Mahatma Gandhi and by those who were 
round about him in his party. A copy of the note showing toe pro- 
tective measures which had been taken at Birla House was attached, 
annexure VI, Ex. 7-B. 

3 37 The note then proceeds to state the steps taken at Bombay. 
It mentions that the two officers with all the information furnished 
to the Delhi Police by Madanlal flew to Bombay and stayed at the 
Universal National Restaurant and met Mr. Nagarvala the next day 
and save him all the information that they possessed Mr Nagar- 
vala told them that he also had received information about the case 
and had deputed special men to locate the wanted persons. He 
warned them that nobody should know about their presence Hi 
Bombay and so they should not stay in the city because if the 
suspected persons came to know of their arrival the whole plan of 
their arrests would be "ruined". He ordered the police officers to 
go about in mufti. The two officers again met Mr. Nagarvala at his 
office They gave him the facts of the case and also showed him 
the note on Madanlal's statement from which Mr. Nagarvala took 
extracts u Th,e Delhi Police officers told him that one of the accused 
Lho editor of the 'A«rani' or the 'Hindu Rashtriy*' newspaper. 
,pi i(i ( | rscr jptJon of nil Hh- nccusod persons as disclosed by MwUmlnl, 


was communicated to him". The Police officers again met Mr. 
Nagarvala and he told them, "his information was that there were 
more persons in this conspiracy. He said that there 
were about 20 persons. He added that he had made special 
arrangements for Karkare in Bombay, Poona and Ahmednagar.. 
About the other persons connected with this case, he said 
that he had located three or four". He also disclosed to them the 
scheme to locate all the offenders and to carry out their simulta- 
neous arrests, his reason being that; if only a few were arrested, the 
others would go underground. He also told them that he would 
accompany them to Ahmednagar as soon as he got the necessary 
information and asked one of his Inspectors to arrange for their 
lodging so that nobody should know about their presence. He alsa 
told them not to give their Delhi address at the hotel, and that he 
would consult his Home Minister and will take further action 
against the accused. The same day again they went to the Bombay 
C.ILD. office where they were told by an Inspector that their presence 
was no longer required. The Inspector also told them that Bombay 
officers had been deputed to arrest the other suspects who had not 
till then been located. In regard to Karkare and the editor of the 
'Agrani' or 'Hindu Rashtriya', he told them that an Inspector from 
Ahmednagar was arriving the next day at Bombay, and they would 
then arrange for their arr,est". 

3.38 This portion of the note thus shows that — 

(a) Nagarvala had specially arranged for the arrest 
Karkare in Bombay, Ahmednagar and Poona. 


(b) The information of locating 3 or 4 other persons connect- 
ed with the case seems puzzling because there were 6' 
persons mentioned by Madanlal and location of 3 or 4 
would be solving the mystery of the conspiracy complete- 

(c) The statement, that an Inspector was coming the next day 
from Ahmednagar and they would arrange to arrest Karkare 
and editor of the 'Agrani', appears to be erroneous. Why 
should there have been an Inspector from Ahmednagar 
to arrest the editor of the 'Agrani' which was a Poona 

3.39 The next day, i.e., 23rd January, 1948, so the note says, the 
Delhi Police officers went to the Deputy Commissioner's office but 
could not meet him. A CI.D. Inspector told them that the Inspec- 
tor from Ahmednagar had arrived and he had been told to search 
for the editor of the 'Agrani* or the 'Hindu Rashtriya', which again 
appears to be a wrong statement or misunderstanding by the Delhi 
officers. Deputy Superintendent Jaswant Singh then asked for 
information regarding Karkare and his associates and the Bombay 
CI.D. Inspector gave him the following names as being Karkare'^ 
associates; — 

(i ) Badge of Poona. 

(11) Aiii.n Sin/.jli, Punjabi Sikh <>f Amrilsnr. 


(iii) Talwar of Karachi, then in Bombay, 
(iv) Balraj Mehta of Lahore, then in Shivaji Park in Bombay. 

3.40 Mr. Nagarvala who arrived at about 12.30 p.m. told the 
.Police officers that he was doing his best to arrest the wanted 
persons and that the presence of the Delhi Police was no longer 
required at Bombay and he ordered them to return. "On this Mr 
Jaswant Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Delhi, drew Mr" 
Nagarvala's attention to Madanlal's statement regarding Karkare 
and the editor of the Agrani' or the 'Hindu Rashtriya' and asked 
that as soon as they were arrested, they should be sent to Delhi. The 
Delhi officers handed over to the C.I.D. Inspector a brief note on the 
case, with the names and the description of the accused wanted as 
far as known then". Of the handing over of this note there is no 
evidence except this cryptic reference. No questions were put to 
Mr. Nagarvala although he was questioned at length and was cross- 
examined for a good few days. In a subsequent affidavit in reply 
to Commissions Questionnaire, Mr. Nagarvala denied any such 
document having been given to his officers. 

3.41 The two Delhi Police officers returned to Delhi on the 24th 
and saw the Superintendent of Police, New Delhi, and the Superin- 

i nt ^ P t\ C1D ^ nd gave them m acc ™ nt of all tiuS had 
happened m Bombay. Copies of the diaries of the 21st, 22nd and 
23rd January, 1948, are attached to this note. They are marked 

™7 ^ In .t nd V EX - V- ^ 4 « COpieS ° f t^se diumen" s a were 
sent to Mr. V. Shankar, Private Secretary of the Home Minister. 

thf-D?eslnofnr?hl ?K at the mystery which was associated with 
the presence oi the Delhi Police officers at Bombay, a complaint about 
wmch was made to Mr. Sanjevi on the 25th morning. Normally™ 
says the police officers should not have been sent back to S? but 
should have been kept there to assist the Bombay Police in the 

3BKTO3 0t i th * CaSe " Xt may be noted that in h & statement r£ 
Sahib Rikhzkesh, Superintendent of Police, C.I.D., stated Xt these 
officers stayed in Bombay too long and should have retu^?Lrlfer 

3.42 The Deputy Inspector General of Police (C I D 1 Pnrm Q 
who w as still i D Ihi; was summfmed b Mr Sanfevi in ^presence 
of the Superintendent of C.I.D., Delhi. To the DH.G. was ffiven thl 
report of the two Delhi Police officers and his atten ion w £ dr, wn 
2 th V™P? rtance of locating the absconding accused A copv of 
the detailed statement of Madanlal was given to hS Both le ahl 
Mr Sanjevi went over it, and the D.I.G. was asked to fly £ Bombay 
but he did not, as hs could not. If he could not ffi «,„„ y 
should have thought that another officer could h a ?e b een' S ent by air 

to deliver the statement to Nagarvala He left w «££ 7,7 \J? 
bad and reached Bombay on the 27th evenffig! Y " W ° AUana ~ 

M^ 3 !^^ 8 -^?^^^!*^ ,M;; , ' il| -" i ' 1 "- *Wh t, ■,n| 1(11 , 1 |iv,. Qf 

Ml l "" M:: '; I:| << ""••>< llm no expected Iho conspirators to ■tril - 

.i •■ ,i l .... I .. .. i ii i . . ■ , I '"" .1 III .,( I |M" 


lU .1 M 


i n 3 *i 4 * Th ^ no i e then states that that evening (of 27th), the D.I.G. 
talked to Mr. Sanjevi on the telephone and a gist of the conversa- 
tion is given in paragraph 8 which is as follows:— 

"On the 27th evening Mr. Rana rang me up from Bombay and 
told ma that he had seen Mr. Nagarvala, and that Mr. 
Nagarvala would give me an explanation for what had 
happened to the two Delhi Police officers at Bombay Mr 
Nagarvala told me that he had good reason for not allow- 
ing the Delhi Police officers to move about freely in 
Bombay. He told me of the information that he and the 
^ombay Police had of a conspiracy to kidnap Mahatma 

1 u ! e n„ told me that il was a ver y bi S organisation, 
with about 20 principal conspirators, each assisted by 20 

persons and in possession of considerable quantities of 
firearms and other lethal weapons. I asked him about 
tne absconding accused whose names or descriptions were 
fTl* 1 t0 A the Delhi' Police by Madanlal. Mr. Nagarvala 
told me that he would send a detailed note on the investi- 
gation made at Bombay City and elsewhere in the Province 
by air the next day." 

This portion of the note is not quite clear. It does not show what 
was said to Mr. Sanjevi by Mr. Rana and which portion was Vm? 
Nagarvala. But one fact stated in this paragraph is of grist impS 
ance Mr. Sanjevi asked Mr. Nagarvala Sbout the abscondffig SS 
whose names or descriptions were given to the Delhi Polic- bv 
Madanlal. But this note does not say that those names oVdescrptioS 

BombaT C N^ ed t0 , Na S arvala by the tW0 0fficers wh ° were flown to 
fw ll' N ,°/ d0e / ll j ay what re Ply hs gave to that query except 
that he would write a detailed letter. Significantly, there is notiffi 
to show whether Mr Sanjevi pressed Nagarvala to tell him Tnf 
had done anything about the suspects whose names or description! 
were given to him by Delhi Police or showed any aMxielySufS 
arrest or even tried to find out who they were or whether they had 
been located at all. On the other hand, Sardar Pate^replFes in 

Bombay S and e Dllt S p^ bly ^^ Feb ™ ary 6 ' 1948 ' *howTat the 
Bombay and Delhi Police were in accord on the steps taken and ™ 

ome^ftS °L thS P / OPOSal t0 T ke ^ultaneoia^STjSJcS 
some of the accused going underground. 

in Mr T S!. n0te % n g l eS ° n t0 say *H Nagarvala did not write 
m, ^ - Sa ^ evi „ ,° n the 3 °th he sent a letter which reached 

throura e n 1 .ffi/ eb ^ ary 3 ' *l d a C °P y 0f that Ietter was received 
through an officer who came by air from Bombay on 1st February 
which is annexure I, Ex. 8. But these letters make no mention of 
hvVK ? y Mn SanJ!SV i ab0Ut P ersons disclosed to TagarvaL 

5^38^7*: they a reply to whatMr - *** WS 

+ u 3 r 6 T V he . letter recei ved by Mr. Sanjevi, according to the note 

;• of action by the Bombay Police was indicated wffich was 

Ih-'l. I In,,- was a gang out to kidnap Mahatma Gandhi and of The 

bSS S.!:^":!/"..?" 1 :.^^ 1 :. f h ~4 w r« those **& , «3 

1 Wr 

also concerned with the statement of MuJnulal 


which does not s^sm to be correct as Badge's name is not there. 
Significantly the letters did not mention the editor of the 'Agranf 
or 'Hindu Rashtriya\ The note, however, emphasised that the 
officers had repeatedly given information of all the names and des- 
criptions mentioned by Madanlal. It then sets out that Mr. Rana 
agreed with M!r. Nagarvala that the arrest of Karkare and Badge 
will not arouse any suspicion and the arrests of others could wait 
till all the information collected by the Delhi Police, the provincial 
Poona C.I.D. and the Bombay City Police were pooled together and 
that the Home Minister of Bombay had entrusted the investigation 
of the case to Mr. Nagarvala, 

3.47 The note makes a grievance that the Bombay police did not 
consider it necessary to immediately pursue the information given by 
the Delhi police regarding the editor of the 'Hindu Rashtriya* 
(Godse) and the other accused mentioned by Madanlal, who should 

have been arrested without delay. This grievance would be justi- 
fied if it couid b? established that the editor was disclosed in the 
first statement or was given^ to Nagarvala by the Delhi Police 

3.48 The note then laments that even 10 days after the Delhi 
Police officers had carried vital information about the case, the 
Bombay Police had no more information than about the kidnapping 
of Mahatma Gandhi, and it did not act on the information given by 
the two Delhi Police officers. It complains that Rana had a copy of 
the full statement of Madanlal and had been told of the serious 
nature of the statement and yet nothing had been done. The respon- 
sibility for investigation in Bombay was of the Bombay Police and 
the Delhi Police had to depend on the investigation and reports of 
Bombay Police. The Delhi Police did not receive between the 21st 
and 30th January "any confirmation of MadanlaPs statement" from 
the Bombay Police. The note further said — 

"The information conveyed by the Delhi Police to the Bombay 
Police clearly indicated a conspiracy to murder ' and the 
identity of some of the accused. The information conveyed 
called for investigation in Bombay City and Province, and 
whatever was found in the course of that investigation should 
have been conveyed to the Delhi Police. This was not done 
except for the telephone message to me on the 27th night when 
information of a conspiracy to kidnap Mahatma Ji was men- 

Nagarvala's letter was a clear proof that the Delhi police were 
not told of the exact identity of the editor of the 'Hindu Rashtriya' 
paper or of his associates excepting Badge. But at that stage Mr, 
Sanjevi did nothing to ask Nagarvala about it. Perhaps the tragedy, 
which had ensured was too great that it must have left Mr. Sanjevi 
wholly stunned to think of giving much attention to Nagarvala's 
letter or its contents whether, they were omissions or commissions. 

3.49 Mr. Sanjevi also attached to his note a copy of a demi-official 
letter dated the 31st January which was the day after the assassina- 
tion. This is annexure II, Ex. 9. The note then sets out the contents 

at this letter and the information which Prof. 3 ^^f^J^ 
authorities in Bombay. The note ^^^^^^J^^Z 
fadanlal's statement and Prof. Jain's rtormRU^Jte **^ 
authorities were working on the theory of an f^^^g 
Mahatma Gandhi. It also protested ^^^f^^^^t 
Delhi Police had been won over by the gang of kidnappers M 
there is nothing to show that Mr, Sanjevi at any stage told the 
SSbay Poii^about their lethargy, inattentiveness or cj^MDgl 
or gave them a bit of his mind about the absurdity of the kidnapping 

3.50 The note finally said— 

"11 It is now definitely known that from the 23rd to the 28th 
January, Godse was in Bombay. He flew from the .Bombay 
aerodrome to Delhi on the 28th morning. Jrom the 22nd I to 
the 28th January was a long enough period for th Bombay 
Police to have known who the editor of the 'Agrani or the 
Stadu Rashtriya' was. As long as the ^ *^ <^ 
have full information in regard to the identity a nd correct 
description of this person, they could not possibly spot him 
when he arrived in Delhi. He had completely changed his 
clothes, and on the 30th evening, was wearing a ™h^ khjg 
jacket/and went into the prayer grounds with the large crowds 
that congregated there. The Delhi Police had not, in the 
least relaxed the protective measures at Birla House. Mr 
Mehra's note sets out very clearly what precautions and 
measures were undertaken. As long as the Police were not 
in a position to search visitors to the prayer meetings, the 
Police on duty at the Birla House on the 30th could not be 
blamed for not spotting one of the visitors who had carried 
a small pistol hidden on him. The Police were prevented from 
searching visitors. In these circumstances, the Delhi Police 
did all that was possible. In his observations the Judge has, 
unfortunately, not distinguished between the Delhi and the 
Bombay Police. He was not aware of the real position He 
did not know that the Bombay Police had not taken all the 
action necessary on the information conveyed from Delhi. 
Even on the evidence that he had before him, his observations 
against the Delhi Police cannot be justified." 

3 51 This is the case which was presented to the Ministry of Home 
Affairs by the Delhi Police through Mr. Sanjevi Some of the ex- 
pressions used in the note and some of the sentences employed have 
a very familiar mien and are not far different from the translation 
of the Delhi Police diaries of Deputy Superintendent Jaswant Singh 
ie. Nos 3-A and 4-A, which perhaps formed the basis of the note 
if not its sole inspiration. The note may be summed up as follows:— 

(i) After the arrest of Madanlal, a statement, Ex. 6, annexure 
III, was made by Madanlal on the night between 20th and 
21st January which disclosed a conspiracy to murder 
Mahatma Gandhi. 


(ii) iln the statement of Madanlal the name of Karkare pro- 
prietor of a hotel at Ahmednagar, the editor or p?o P rktor 
looW^" ?£? U Rashtri ^' or the 'Agrani', ^aratha 
yo°uth g were e mSned^ *&■ **»*' and tw0 other 

(m) ll^alliSaSlf ^ d ^.Ptaces where Madanlal and 
8& T°Z S ad been Staying and as a consequence of 
th ls disclosure vigorous combing of the city was carried 
out but it was found that the associates had alSy Left 

0V) poHcfaSundur 6 * mmdm W3S alS ° fUmished to the 

(v) Two officers of the Delhi Police were flown to Bombay who 
had full instructions and a brief note containing the facts 
of the case ascertained upto that time. 

(vi) The description of these persons mentioned bv Madanlal 
was circulated to the Delhi C.LD. " audJuai 

(vii) Protective measures taken at Birla House were strengthen- 

pl&isiisir 1 ^ ° f unifomed **« «* 

(viii) The proposal to search persons going to the prayer meet- 
ings were not agreed to by Mahatma Gandhi and those 
round about him. i.e., his Secretaries, etc., 

(ix) All the information which the Delhi Police had upto that 
time was conveyed to Mr. Nagarvala on the 22nd The 
note which had been sent to Bombay was shown to Nagar- 
vala and the Delhi Police gave him full facts of ;he ?ase 
and mentioned that one of the accused was the editor of 
Agrani or the 'Hindu Rashtriya' newspaper and the des- 
cription of other persons as given by Madanlal was com- 
municated to him. He took an extract from the note sent 
to him and returned the note to the Delhi policemen. 

(x) Nagarvala told them that he had located 3 or 4 persons and 
that he was not making any arrests lest the others might 
go underground. 

(xi) Nagarvala told those policemen not to stay at the Hotel 
where they were staying but to shift to another place and 
they should move about in mufti. An Inspector agreed 
to put the two officers up. s u 

(xii) On 23rd January, 1948 at 12-00 noon a C.LD. Inspector told 
me Delhi Police officers that an Inspector from Ahmed- 
nagar had arrived and he was told to search for the editor 
of the Agrani' of the 'Hindu Rashtriya'. The Delhi Police 
officers asked for information regarding Karkare and his 
associates and the Inspector gave the four names, Badge 
Autar Singh Talwar and Balraj Mehta, whose names had 
had already been set out. 

(xiii) At 12-30 p.m. Mr. Nagarvala arrived and he told the Delhi 
Police that he was trying his level best and that their 
presence was no longer required at Bombay and they 
should return to Delhi, The Delhi Police officers again 
drew the attention of Nagarvala to the statement of 
Madanlal regarding Karkare and the editor of the 'Agrani' 
and asked him to get them apprehended and send them 
to Delhi as soon as possible. 

(xiv) The Delhi Police officers handed over to the C.LD. Inspec^ 
tor a brief note on the case, a matter on which no ques- 
tions were put by the Delhi Police to any of the Bombay 
Police witnesses. 

(xv) On their return the Delhi Police officers apprised their 
Superintendents of Police of what had happened at 
Bombay, and copies of their Police diaries were sent to 
Mr, Shankar on 18th February, 1948. 

(xvi) On the 25th morning tlie two Superintendents of Police of 

Delhi reported the matter to Mr. Sanjevi whose reaction 

was that the police officers should have been kept on in 

■ Bombay to assist the Bombay Police in the investigation 


(xvii) Consequently, Mr. Sanjevi spoke to Mr. Rana and com- 
plained to him about th e treatment which was meted out 
to the Delhi Police officers. 

(xviii) A copy of the fuller statement of Madanlal was given to 
Rana. He was asked to fly to Bombay but he could not 
do so, and therefore he went by train and arrived at 
Bombay on the 27th afternoon. 

(xix) Paragraph 8 sets out an account of the telephonic conversa- 
tion which took place between Rana and Nagarvala on the 
one side and Mr. Sanjevi on the other, 

(xx) The letter of Nagarvala reached Mr. Sanjevi on the 3rd 
February which purported to have been written on 30th 
January, whereas he had promised to write on the 27th 
A copy of that letter was brought by the Bombay Police 
officer which has also been set out. Both the letters high- 
light the theory of kidnapping Mahatma Gandhi and 
mentioned the names of only Karkare and Badge and did 
not even mention the editor of the 'Agrani* of the 'Hindu 
Rashtriya' or of the full information including names and 
descriptions given by Madanlal which had been conveyed 
to Nagarvala, and it also mentioned that Rana agreed with 
what Nagarvala had done and that the investigation in 
Bombay, as far as the Province of Bombay was concerned, 
had been entrusted to Nagarvala by the Home Minister. 

(xxi) It is clear that the Bombay Police did not consider it 
necessary to pursue the information given by the Delhi 
Police in regard to the editor of the 'Hindu Rashtriya' and 

the other accused mention* d by Mndnnini, 
259 HA. 


(xxii) The Bombay police had no other information but that 
there was a conspiracy to kidnap Mahatma Gandhi and 
that was in spite of their having worked on the case for 
10 days. 

(xxiii) The note emphasises that the Delhi police had conveyed 
to the Bombay police that there was a conspiracy to 
murder Mahatma Gandhi and also had conveyed the 
identity of the accused to them and that Nagarvala did not 
convey to the Delhi police the exact identity of the editor 
of the 'Hindu Kashtriya' paper or of his associates except 

(xxiv) Lastly, Godse was in Bombay between 23rd January and 
28th January. He flew from there on the 28th (which is 
wrong; he flew on the 27th). The Bombay police should 
have discovered by then who the editor of the 'Agranf or 
the 'Hindu Kashtriya' was and should have taken vigorous 
measures to apprehend him. The Delhi police were not 
in a position to arrest anyone of them as they did not have 
his identity or the correct description and when he com- 
mitted the murder he had changed his dress. 

3.52 In short the note accepts unhesitatingly the version given to 
Mr. Sanjevi by the Delhi police the most important parts of which 

are — i j !; : 

(1) Madanlal made a statement on the 20th January giving full 
descriptions of his associates, the name of Karkare and 
mentioned the editor of the 'Hindu Rashtriya' or the 
'Agrani 5 . 

(2) This information was sent to Bombay police who did 
nothing in the matter and instead embarked on a fantastic 
theory of a conspiracy to kidnap Mahatma Gandhi. 

(3) The Delhi Police had the descriptions of the conspirators 
given by Madanlal which had been relayed to Jullundur 
police and had also been given to the Bombay police but 
the latter did absolutely nothing in the matter. 

(4) Rana had been emphatically told not to sleep over the 
matter but he also did nothing. 

(5) Although Godse and Apte were in Bombay between the 
23rd and "28th January" no attempt was made to locate 
or arrest him or his other co-conspirators. 

(6) Mr. Sanjevi threw all the blame on the Bombay police. 

Mr. Sanjevi is unfortunately dead and this is the only record of 
what he did or did not do in regard to Mahatma Gandhi's life and 

3.53 Out of the remarks of Mr. H. V. R. Iengar, Secretary of the 
Ministry of TTomo Affairs after the receipt of the explanation from 


kr. Sanjevi, Ex. 7, and of Mr. Nagarvala, Ex. 14, paragraphs 3, 4 and 

5 are important and they are as follows:— 

"3 Secondly, while it is clear that the Bombay Police took all 
possible steps to arrest Karkare and Badge, they do not appear 
to have taken any notice of Godse. Admittedly, his name was 
not mentioned in MadanlaTs statement but there was a descrip- 
tion of him as the editor of the 'Hindu Rashtriya' or the 
'Agranf . According to DJ.B.'s report the investigating officers 
from Delhi took with them to Bombay on the 21st January a 
statement (Annexure V to D.I.B.'s report— Slip "T") which 
mentioned the editor of this paper. Mr. Nagarvala says that 
these officers did not give him any information other than that 
they wanted Karkare. Here is a discrepancy which cannot 
be reconciled without further examination. 

4. I have put to the D.I.B. the view that as soon as it became 
clear that there was a conspiracy among certain Maharashtra 
Brahmins from Poona, Ahmednagar and the "neighbourhood 
to commit assassination, plain clothesmen from that part of the 
Bombay Province should have been summoned to Delhi, on the 
chance that they might have been able to identify these per- 
sons if they came to Birla House. Mr. Sanjevi says that as the 
Bombay Police did not take the idea of a conspiracy to assassi- 
nate very seriously, the responsibility was really theirs. Per- 
sonally I do not accept this view and that that there was a 
failure in Delhi to insist on this precaution, lit may not have 
been successful in preventing the assassination, but it wae 
certainly worth trying. 

5. I think the Bombay Police are to blame more seriously 
because they refused to take the idea of a conspiracy to assas- 
sinate seriously, although every rule of eommonsense pointed 
in that direction,". 

|fj . Two letters of Mr. J. D. Nagarvula 

3.54. The two letters of Mr. Nagarvala mentioned in the note, 
Ex. 7, are annexures 1 and 2, Exs, 8 and 9, dated January 30, 1948 and 

January 31, 1948, respectively — one on the day when Mahatma 
Gandhi was murdered, and the other on the day following. 

3.55 The first letter shows that MadanlaTs statement in the Press 
showing that "he had come from Bombay" led to the initiation of 
investigations in Bombay. In the course of preliminary investiga- 
tions names of Balraj Mehta, Karkare, Talwar, Badge, Autar Singh 
Chavan, and Somnath Kapoor transpired of whom Autar Singh and 
Chavan were under detention. Balraj had been identified and a trial 
put on him. Karkare and Badge were the two Maharashtrian com- 
panions of Balraj and Somnath Kapoor who were both Punjabis 
Badge had been seen in Ahmednagar three days earlier i.e., on the 
27th, and arrangements had been made to bring informants from 
Ahmednagar to Bombay who knew both Karkare and Badge, the 
Object being to get them (Badge and Karkare) identified and to arrest 
rendezvous in Bombay was known to the Police 


and if he came to Bombay he would be arrested but Talwar had not 

been identified and inquiries were going on. 

3.56 From the investigation it appeared that there were 21 Punja- 
bis and Maharashtrians in the conspiracy and they had 20 vvorkers 
under each one of them. The object of the gang was to drive out 
Muslims from the Indian Dominion. With that object they had 
collected arms and ammunition and it was also learnt that Col. Mohan 
Singh of the LN.A. had organised the gang and he had the support 
of the Akali leader, Master Tara Singh. But the information had not 
yet been corroborated. There was also a suggestion that one of the 
Sikh refugees had been sent by the gang to the Speaker of the Uitar 
Pradesh Assembly for further consultations as to their plan. The 
opinion amongst the members of the gang was that it was easy to 
win over the Delhi Police and their object was to kidnap Gandhiji, 
But the letter made it clear that this was only an Information which 
have been collected but they had yet to see if it was correct. Nobody 
had been arrested but a fair amount of progress had been made in 
the investigation. 

3.57 The general policy which Nagarvala proposed to follow was 
(and Mr. Rana agreed with him) that they might arrest Karkare and 
Badge which was not likely to rouse any suspicion because Karkare 
had been named by Madanlal and Badge was always with Karkare 
and they were known by the police to be good friends. Mr. Rana 
agreed with Nagarvala that arrests of others should wait till the 
Information collected by the Delhi Police, Poona Provincial C.I.D. 
and the Bombay City C.I.D. was pooled together. The Home Minister 
of Bombay and Mr. Rana had entrusted the investigation of the case 
to him (Nagarvala) for the Province of Bombay and Nagarvala was 
hoping to produce concrete results, 

3.58 The letter of the 31st said that Nagarvala had arrested Balraj 
Mehta, Somnath Kapoor, Kasar — the bodyguard of Savarkar— and 
Damle, his Secretary. It had also transpired that Godse had seen 
Savarkar along with one Apte on the eve of their departure to Delhi. 
Kasar and Damle had not stated what conversation these two had 
with Savarkar during their 40 minutes interview but they had admit- 
ted that these two had access to the house of Savarkar without any 
restriction. If Madanlal was brought to Bombay, they would be able 
to "drag out Madanlal and get all facts and details out of him". He 
had also consulted the Home Minister and the Commissioner of 
Police and they agreed that Madanlal should be brought to Bombay 
and that would help the investigation in Bombay. 

3.59 Badge had been arrested by the Poona Police. The letter 
then mentions the tense 24 hours through which Bombay had passed. 
Savarkar's house and other houses of Hindu Mahasabha* leaders were 
attacked by mobs with terrific fury and the only safe place for those 
leaders was the police lock-up. Savarkar's house had been searched 
and all available records of Hindu Mahasabha had been attached and 
inquiries wore in progress. As the copy of the previous letter sent 
by Nagarvala had not been received by Mr. Sanjevi, he enclosed a 

of thai letter along with this one, 


3.60 The first letter requires a careful analysis and scrutiny. 

(1) It shows that it was written in pursuance of the conver- 
sation which Nagarvala had with Mr. Sanjevi on January 
27, 1948. 

<2) That after the statement of Madanlal appeared in the 
Press about his being from Bombay, investigations were 
taken up. There is no mention of either the orders of 
Mr. Morarji Desai or of what Jain had told Mr. Besai. 

<3) It does not specifically mention any information having 
been given to Nagarvala by the Delhi Police officers. 

<4) It does mention MadanlaPs statement wherein Karkare 
was named, 

<5) It mentions that Karkare and Badge were two Maharash- 
trian companions of Balraj and Somnath Kapoor; and the 
former two were good friends. 

<6) It then states that Badge was seen at Ahmednagar about 
27th January but he had left that place and that two in- 
formants had been called from Ahmednagar who would 
identify and help in the arrest of Karkare and Badge. 
Now if badge belonged to Poona and Karkare to Ahmed- 
nagar, even if they were friends, one would have expected 
that informants would be called from P'oona also. 

<7; The letter mentions a large number of Punjabis and 
Maharashtrians being in the conspiracy which was being 
organised by Col. Mohan Singh of the LN.A. 

This gentleman was examined by the Commission (wit. 86) 
and he denied any knowledge of this gang and it is diffi- 
cult to imagine that Col. Mohan Singh would be a party 
to encouraging either the assassination or the kidnapping 
of Mahatma Gandhi and it would be still more astonish- 
ing if the then Speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly 
could be persuaded to join the plan. Even if the objec- 
tive was eviction of Mohammedans, the Speaker was un- 
likely to give his bleassings to any such action. 

<8) Although the letter mentions that the plan was to arrest 
Karkare and Badge, there is no indication as to what tan- 
gible steps had been taken to carry out the plan. 

<9) The most important omission isj the non-mention of 
either the editor or the proprietor of the 'Agrani' or the 
'Hindu Rashtra' because that seems to have been empha- 
sised again and again in the note of Mr. Sanjevi. This 
would show that either these persons were never men- 
tioned till then or Nagarvala was deliberately omitting 
them. The latter possibility appears unlikely in the cir- 

<10) There is no indication in the note that in the telephonic 
talk with Nagarvala Mr. Sanjevi mentioned either of these 
two persons All he snys in the nolo is, "T nsked him 


about the absconding accused whose names or descrip- 
tions were given to the Delhi Police by Madanlal and 
Nagarvala promised to send a detailed note". One should 
have imagined that if the editor of this newspaper had 
been mentioned, Mr. Sanjevi would have made pointed 
inquiries about the editor and/or the proprietor. 

(11) Further, there is nothing to indicate in this note, Ex. 7, 
that when Nagarvala mentioned the conspiracy to kidnap 
Mahatma Gandhi, Mr. Sanjevi ticked him off or told him 
that the very theory or idea was absurd. 

Commission has been unable to discover any reason why Mr. 
Nagarvala in his letter made the Press report of Miadan- 
lal's statement the basis of his investigation rather than 
the information or the order given to him by Mr. Morarji 
Desai, the factum of which is not denied and was accept- 
ed both by the trial court as well as by the High Court 
in the Conspiracy Case. Unfortunately, this matter was 
not put to Mr. Nagarvala before the Commission. 

(12) The omission of reference to names, descriptions, avoca- 
tions or places of residence of MadanlaPs co-conspirators 
has remained unexplained. 

(13) The letter of the 30th by Nagarvala to Mr. Sanjevi was 
top secret and there could not have been any inherent 
danger in diclosing to Mr. Sanjevi the factum of informa- 
tion given by Mr, Morarji Desai or the order he passed. 




Index of Paragraphs 
First Inquiry 
Assembly Interpellations. 
4.10-23 Second Inquiry- 
Mr. Karaite's letters and 
Mr. Rana's replies 

Fourth Inquiry- 
Assembly debate 
Mr. Nagarvala's explanation 



Inquiries* — Bombay 

4.1 In Bombay there were four inquiries into the causes of 
■Gandhi murder and what steps were taken by the Government of 
Bombay to prevent the catastrophe. 

4.2 (1) Soon after the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, there was 
interpellation in the Bombay Legislative Assembly in which certain 
questions were given notice of but actually they were withdrawn 
but there is some material to show as to what was the position of 
the Government at that time. 

4.3 (2) Mr. Kamte, who was Inspector General of Police in Bom- 
bay Province, started an inquiry by writing to Mr. U. H. Rana, D.I.G., 
C.I.D., Poona, and that correspondence shows what Mr. Kamte 
wanted to know; what enquiries he made from Mr. Rana; and what 
replies Mr. Rana gave. 

4.4 (3) In the Bombay Legislative Assembly, there was a Cut 
Motion and the matter of Mahatma Gandhi's murder was discussed. 
Mr. Morarji Desai there made a statement which may be taken to 
be the position of the Government of Bombay at that time. 

4.5 (4) After strictures were passed by the trial judge, Judge 
Atma Char an in his judgment, the Government of India through the 
Government of Bombay asked for the explanation of the Bombay 
Police officers in regard to those strictures. Mr. Nagarvala gave his 
explanation (Ex. 14) on which there were certain notings in the 
Bombay Secretariat, Ex. 168. That explanation came without any 
remarks from the Bombay Government to the Government of India 
and was considered by the Government of India upon which ,and 
upon the explanation of the Delhi Police there were combined not- 
ifies by Mr. H. V. R. Iengar, Home Secretary— Ex. 7-C i.e. on the 
explanation of Mr. Sanjevi, Ex 7, and on the explanation of Mr. 
Nagarvala, Ex. 14. The views of the Government of India were 
these which may briefly be stated, 

4.6 Mr. lengar made two points : 

(1) That it was surprising that in spite of the statement of 
Madanlal and the information given by Prof. Jain, the 
Bombay Police should have hesitated to "accept the theory 
of conspiracy to murder and should have given credence 
to the theory of a conspiracy to kidnap Mahatma Gandhi. 

(2) That the Bombay Police took all possible steps to arrest 
Karkare and Badge but took no notice of Godse whose 
description as editor had been given in Madanlal's state- 
ment as shown by Annexure 5 (which is Ex. 5-A). He 


noticed the denial oil! Mr. Nagarvala about any informa- 
tion other than that about Karkare. He also noticed that 
as the conspirators were Maharashtrians plain clothes 
policemen from that part of Bombay Province should have 
been summoned to Delhi. He did not accept the view that 
the responsibility was of the Bombay Police because of 
their failure to take notice of the theory to murder but 
the Bombay Police were more to blame for not taking a 
commonsense view of murder being the object of the con- 
spiracy. He also noticed the most controversial part as 
to the identity of the editor of the Agrani and again 
blamed the Bombay Police for not taking the conspiracy 
to' murder seriously. 

4.7 Sardar Patel agreed (Ex. 7-E) that plain -clothes policemen 
from Bombay should have been summoned and that it was a mis- 
take to send a Deputy Superintendent of Police to Bombay. The 
matter was sent to the Prime Minister and his endorsement Is dated 
April 4 5 1949. The notings in the Government of India Secretariat 
and in the Bombay Government Secretariat will be discussed at 
greater length under the heading Ex. 5-A. 

First Inquiry 

4.8 The first inquiry which was held in Bombay was by way of 
notice of a starred question. No. 864 by Mr. A. J. Doddameti in the 
Bombay Legislative Assembly. This was on 20th February 1948, 
The questions and the proposed answers are as follows as shown in 
Ex. 167 : (See the attached photostat copy,) 

Short notice question No. 864 
put by Mr. A. J. Doddameti. 

Will the Hon'ble Minister for 
Home and Revenue be pleased 

to state — 

(1) whether it is a fact that 
the plot for the assassi- 
nation of Mahatma Gan- 
dhi and plans for the 
assassination of other 
high-ranking Indian lea- 
ders were hatched in 
the Bombay Province ; 

(2) whether reports regard- 
ing the existence of 
such a plot had reached 

Government, prior to 
the assassination of 
Mahatma Gandhi; 

(3) if so, what precaution- 
ary measures were 

taken by Government 

Proposed reply 

(1) As the investigation into 
the alleged conspiracy is 
still not complete, it is too 
early to give any infor- 
mation on the question 
asked in this clause. 

(2) A private report reached 
Government on 21st Jan- 
uary regarding such a 
plot. (In the original this 
is handwritten.) 

(3) The Home Ministry was 
informed about this on 
22nd morning and the 


tflhl linn 


w v ».• ft t » * rt* « t>\ 1 nt* tl on C 


J\ort notice question No* *9fi4 put 

Will the JWbla Minister for "=• 
Home ana ^y mrxG-pvypy &&&&&■.£& 
atate ~ 
(X) sft ether- i* j, c s fa;;:: vbat the 
, plat for fch-5 i^^a&^i7iatic.'i i>f 

^^vlM-u --• .• ■ c'lr.u hi ,h-^riciiv - 
Tx&iii Ifc-oC5r»t> w. r h&toh&d in the 
i'k? .rap n y : : ; rvoVl-n c £ ; :■'■■ '. : : t "- : - :; > : 

{2} v.b?ir.&i-- rzpovis ^afji^ the 

■•:^-Vv/ .::■■>■.;■•,;..;,->' •>....;:.v.- : .. 

36 .fa rfiim tea > .-i u-. c province in 

■ iff 1$ mfii-m . y|^|^^^^^-|§S 

Propoasd reply* . 


{1} A *j the Iftveo-Ol^ttU n into thi> 
alle«^<l conspiracy fr»-«>«*ft»a&rift^fj ' . 

X^^kc^es Is a till not complete, it i« p 
too early to jive any information 


(-} Bs^a-a^t a.4*U&.~, T^f 

' : '*V%>^V : >«?/~J^'V^\~y ^ i-^Xvl*.^ - •'", 



(A; •:.;$& £ person a hsv.s- been : «rr^ tea ■:'! 

|||i lliill 

Ex. 167— Photostat copy of a Short Notice Question on 'precautionary 
measures to prevent assassination of Mahatma Gandhi V (Para. No. 4.8) 

that followed, rf suspected persons. 

(This is also handwrit- 

(4) what is the number (dis- (4) Some persons have been 

+,int wvqp^ nf the mem- arrested in connection 

bSTT* the l K S^S "so with the action o 

far arrested in the Pro- Mahatma Gandhi. It is 

%nce in connlction not possible to say at this 

wSh the assassination stage how many of them 

of Mahatma Gandhi? are members of the R.S.S. 


This shows that in the proposed answers it was stated in replyto 
Question No l-(l" that the investigation into the conspiracy was not 
Slete ill then and it was too early to give any information (2) 
raSer to second question whether information oi existence .of 
such a plot had reached the Government P™f to the assas smution 
™- Ant the answer proposed by the office was "No , but Mr. Moraru 
ne?af made corrects in his own hand showing that a report had 
rlac^r^vernment on 21st January, 1948, (3) in reply to quejtam 
Nn^ whether any precautionary measures were taken, the leply 
SoLrdbv office was "does not arise" but the correction made m 
S P own h?nd X M* Morarji Desai is "The Home Ministry was 
informed about this on 22nd morning and the C.I.D. Bombay *** 
steps to watch the movements of suspected persons" and (4) in the 
fourth Question it was asked how many members of the R.&S. had 
been arSd in connection with the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, 

ana\Tatswer was that some P«»™ ^^^^ ^ 
not possible to say how many of them were R.b.b. members, a 
XtostaT copy of the questions and the answers as given in Ex. 167 
is attached hereto. (See next page). 

49 The Bombay Government has also placed on record the 
noting on thes? questions which were to be asked. The noting is 
Ex 167-A. On this document the final note is by Mr Morarji Desai 
dated 4th March 1948 in which he has said that the Honourable 
Member should be persuaded to withdraw the question as this matter 
is sub judice and the replies would create complications and con- 
sequently the question was withdrawn. 

Second Inquiry 

Kamte's letters and Rana's replies 

4.10 Correspondence which passed between the Inspector General 
of Bombay, Mr. N. M. Kamte, and the DIG., CJI.D., Mr U. H. 
Rana constitutes evidence of some importance concerning the in- 
vestigation into the bomb case, its defects, omissions and lapses ^as 
discefnibk On February 6, 1948, Mr. Kamte wrote a letter to his 
discer mme ^ L. 31-A saying that he had carefully gone 

through the statement of Madanlal which had been sent to him and 
which showed that there was sufficient indication to make out that 



there was a plot to kill Gandhi ji hy certain Poona men and he 
wanted information on two matters from Mr. Rana— 

(1) What steps were taken by him to arrest them immedia- 
tely; and 

(2) what steps were taken to send men to Delhi to comb out 
Delhi and arrest, them there. 

These were two specific questions to Mr. Rana asking about steps! 
taken by Mr. Rana. To this Mr. Rana's reply is Ex 31 dated Feb- 
ruary 24, 1948. In this letter he has set out the facts and sequence 
of events and of the action taken by the Delhi Police and Bombay 
Special Branch and Poona C.I.D. It says that on the 21st morning 
when two Delhi Police officers met him and presumably (although 
it is not so stated) gave him the information they had upto then, 
he (Rana) told them at once that the gang must be followers cf Dr.' 
Savarkar and suggested the sending of two police officers to con- 
tact Mr. Nagarvala at Bombay and Rao Sahib Gurtu at Poona and 
accordingly two officers were flown to Bombay. By that time, the 
Rombay Police had also come to know about Karkare and some 
enquiries had been made or as he put it this information had al- 
ready been worked out by the Bombay City Police. The Delhi Police 
officers went and stayed at the National Hotel which was in the 
locality of the Sher-e-Punjab Hotel whose proprietor Avtar Singh 
had been detained by the Bombay City Police and whose name had 
transpired as one of the conspirators to kill Mahatma Gandhi. 

4.11 The Delhi officers were in their uniforms with their revolvers 
and were going about Bombay, trying to locate "KIRKAREE" and 
not Karkare. They themselves knew nothing about Bombay When 
they met Nagarvala, he asked them to change their place of resi- 
dence but as they expressed their inabilitv to go anywhere one of 
the Inspectors of the Bombay C.I.D. volunteered to put them up, 

4.12 Mr. Nagarvala also told them that if they wanted to move 
about, they must do so in muftL 

413 The movements of the officers were never restricted but it 
was explained to them that H was futile to make open street en- 
quiries about Karkare who did not belong to Bombay and regard- 
ing whom enquiries were already afoot. They were asked to Ques- 
tion Avtar Singh but they expressed their unwillingness to do so 
and decided to return immediately, Nagarvala had received no in- 
structions through these police officers and he had no authority to 
detain them further and they left. 

4 14 The letter then says that Madanlal did not make a state- 
ment making a clean breast till about the 23rd or 24th The r.olice ' 
officers returned to Delhi by train on the 24th and they saw him 
(Rana) on the 25th. Thereafter the D.I.B. called Rana "and asked 
him why the officers were not allowed to move about and Rana told 
him that Nagarvala must have done it for sound reasons. Madan- 
lal s statement was made available to Mr. Rana on the 25th and he 
oil h l Same night by train ™<* Allahabad reaching Bombay on the 
27th afternoon ;«..,! ho found (hat investigation of N;i,.;.. vala ^ 

on the right lines. The whole case was discussed with Nagarvala 
who gave him an idea of the investigation that had already been. 
done and that he had learnt the names of Madanlal's associates- 
through a source. 

4.15 Thereupon the D.I.B. was contacted on the telephone and 
he was told of the "extreme necessity of every possible precaution 
tor the protection of Mahatma Gandhi". The D.I.B. was told "to 
take every possible precaution for the protection of Mahatma 
Gandhi. This in itself will prove that both the Delhi and Bombay 
Police have done all they could". Nagarvala was in touch with 
them in Ahmednagar and every attempt was made to locate Kar- 
kare in Ahmednagar and Bombay but Karkare never went back 
to Ahmednagar. He returned to Bombay after a tour around Ma- 
thura and Agra and returned to Delhi on the 27th. Delhi Police 
had asked Nagarvala for no other person than Karkare and every 
attempt was made to locate him, Nagarvala asked him (Rana) to 
■end somebody who would be able to identify the associates of Kar- 
kare from Poona and Ahmednagar. Rana left for Poon a on the 
28th and asked the D.S.P. Poona to spare hi s L.I.B. Inspector An- 
garkar. This was on the 29th. But that gentleman was down with 
fever. He sent a wireless message to recall Dy. S. P. Deulkar, who 
was in Colaba district at the time and he returned on the 30th night. 
Immediately thereafter officers were sent by plane as there was a 
lurking suspicion that these men will attack other Ministers in the 
Central Cabinet. Four officers were sent by plane. From the facts 
which were revealed later, the culprits had slipped out on the 
morning of 28th from Bombay. 

4.16 To this letter Mr. Kamte replied by his letter, Ex. 32 dated 

March 6, 1948. He restated the two questions he had asked to which, 

according to him, Rana's reply appeared to be in the negative. He 

pen asked Rana to give his remarks on certain specific matters . 

loch were — ■ 

(1) What did the two police officers tell him (Rana) on the 
21st which was not quite clear from the letter? 

(2) Why did he not ask his own C.I.D. to make inquiries 
because 4wo officers from Delhi were not going to make 
much headway in Bombay or Poona? 

(3) The object of contacting Nagarvala by these police officers ; 
was not stated. 

(4) The statement of Madanlal was given to him (Rana) on 
the 25th. What action did he take till the evening of 

(5) The information that Nagarvala came to know through a 
source of associates of Madanlal was not correct because 
all he had known by then was Karkare's name and the 
other information was very vague. But in Madanlal's 

itatemeftt, pp. 7, 16, 18, etc., the description given therein 
ihOV '1 thai the othnr nccusod wore Codso, Apfo, Badge, 


etc. Why was there no attempt made to arrest them as 
from the 25th evening. 

(6) Although on the 27th he had telephoned to the D.I.B. 
about taking precautions for the protection of Mahatma- 
ji, he could very well have deputed his own C.LD. men 
to Delhi because MadanlaFs statement showed that there 
was a plan to kill Mahatma Gandhi by men from Bombay 

(7) Mr. Kamte could not subscribe to the proposition that the 
Bombay Police had done all that they could in -the matter 
of precautions to be taken about Mahatma Gandhi and the 
best thing which Rana could have done on the 29th was to 
have sent for Rao Sahib Gurtu and get that officer on the 

(8) Sending of men by plane to Bombay was done, at the 
suggestion of Mr. Kamte and not at Mr. Rana's for which 
Mr. Rana could not take any credit. 

4.17 This letter makes some telling points of criticism — (a) why 
Rana did not send his own C.LD. to make enquiries rather than send 
Delhi Police officers; (b) why he did not send his own C.LD. to 
Delhi to protect the Mahatma; and (c) why he did not get hold of 
Gurtu even on 29th January. 

4.18 The next letter of importance is Mr. Rana's reply to Mr. 
Kamte, Ex. 30, dated April 15, 1948. The following are the salient 
rpoints from this letter: — 

(1) It was wrong assumption to make that Madanlal straight- 
away gave the names of his accomplices. His statement 
was made available to him (Rana) on the afternoon of 
25th January, 1948. It was on that day that he first came 
to know about what Madanlal had said. In this statement, 
Madanlal had mentioned the editor of Hindu Rashtriya 
daily and the proprietor of Shastra Bhandar of Poona 
and Karkare of Ahmednagar. 

(2) The two officers who came to see him (Rana) were 
Rikhikesh and Bhatia and not the two who had been sent 
to Bombay and from their talks he (Rana) concluded that 
the exploding of the brick was the work of Savarkarvadi 
group of the Hindu Mahasabha. Thus Rana told these 
two officers on the 21st before Madanlal made any state- 
ment which is rather important because one of the points 
in controversy is when did Madanlal disclose the names 
and give description of his associates. The officers who 
went to Bombay were not the same to whom Rana had 
talked and they did not see Rana on their return. "My 
suspicion of Savarkarvadi group's role in the conspiracy 
was also confirmed by the D.LB." who had been in- 
formed by the Home Minister that Madanlal had met 

before he came i.» Delhi and this suspicion was 


further confirmed by the fact that the two officers were 
sent back from Bombay. 

(3) Rana did not think it necessary to take any further action 
because he presumed that the gang must have been 
located in Bombay and he had one C.LD. Head Constable 
Yadav in Delhi who was directed to move about in 
Delhi and visit railway stations and try to locate Karkare 
whom the Head Constable knew "as a Communist from 
Ahmednagar". Rana did not think it necessary to send a 
special man from Bombay to Delhi. Rana's explanation 
for not doing anything further was that he had g-'ven 
instructions to the Delhi Police officers in regard to what 
was to be done in Bombay and Poona. 

(4) En route from Delhi to Bombay, Rana got fever. He went 
straight to Nagarvala who showed him what investigation 
had been done and Rana showed the statement of Madan- 
lal which tallied with the information of Savarkarvadi 
group. Rana told him that he would send him a copy of 
MadanlaFs statement immediately after reaching Poona 
to enable him to start further investigation in Bombay 

- and Nagarvala asked him to send Poona Police officers to 
help him to identify those people and he specially asked 
for Angarkar. But Rana could not go to Poona as he had 
developed fever; 

(5) Rana talked to the D.LB. and told him that Nagarvala was 
on the right lines and requested him to tighten up the 
arrangements at Birla House which showed that Rana 
took the necessary action in the matter. 

(6) Next morning he told the Home Minister, Bombay, of the 
lines of investigation. 

(7) He reached Poona at 4 p.m. and tried to get Angarkar but 
he was ill and then he tried to contact Deulkar but he 
was away to Colaba and therefore a wireless message was 
sent on the 29th. 

(8) The officers who flew to Bombay were not the ones who 
came to see him on the 2:1st January. And Rana did not 
make use of the telephone because the Delhi Police officers 
had gone with instructions from their own officers. More- 
over, there was no secrecy in the telephone communica- 
tion which would be supported by the D.LB. and was 
clear from the fact that the telephone operators were 
chuckling when he and Rana were talking soon after the 
tragedy of 30th showing that there was a leak in the 
telephone operations. 

(9) That in the note book which Nagarvala had, there were 
seven or eight names and one of them was of Badge and 
therefore it was no1 correct that the only '^^m^ that 
Notary; hen was Karkare's. 


(10) Attempts to arrest Karkare and Badge were started long 
before 25th January 1948 and Nagarvala was doing his 
best in that connection. 

(11) It was incorrect that Rana knew about the names of 
Godse, Apte and Badge and that that fact was also known 
to Nagarvala. "The fact is, as far as I am concerned, I did 
not know till I reached Poona who the editor and pro- 
prietor of Hindu Rashtriya was". 

As far as the Commission has been able to see, Mr. Rana made 
no effort to find out their identity or to take action to get 
them apprehended. 

(12) Moreover the impression Rana had was that the gang 
would be hiding in Bombay or roundabout Bombay and 
that he (Rana) met the Home Minister at Bombay on the 
28th and he told him that Nagarvala was on the right 

(13) He (Rana) had got his officers on the move on 29th Janu- 
ary 1948 within a short time that he had at his disposal. 
"However, I will make it more clear. Rao Sahib Gurtu 
was there when D.S.P. Poona was called and the names 
of Apte, Godse and Badge were known from Rao Sahib 
Gurtu. I also asked him if Angarkar knows all three to- 
which his reply was, in the affirmative". There was no 
question of getting Gurtu and others in Poona on the 
move because the culprits were hiding in Bombay and 
the Bombay Special Branch were on their watch. The 
letter ended by saying "It is really disgraceful in that 
we have not been able to prevent this, and now I wonder 
if really we can justify our existence as C.LDs". 

4.19 Ex. 33 contains the opinion of Mr. Kamte on Mr. Rana's 
letter, Ex. 30, of April 15, 1948. Ex. 33 has got no date but it only 
shows the reaction of Mr. Kamte. He there points out what should 
have been done. In the opinion of the Commission it is a document 
of some importance. In paragraph (1) Mr. Kamte has said that 
when the D J.G. got MadanlaFs statement on the 25th January, he s 
should have taken action himself and not depended on Delhi officers. 

(2) The D.LG. cannot be absolved of his failure to contact \he 
Poona C.I.D. giving instructions to arrest the persons whose namea 
or descriptions were known from Madanlal's statement and it was 
no use finding fault with Delhi Police officers. The D.LG. should 
have immediately informed Rao Sahib Gurtu. Even if the D.LG. 
had fever, he could have sent a code telegram to Rao Sahib Gurtu 
and his telephoning to the D.LB. was not the point at issue. The 
"only fact" was that he failed to take action immediately after re- 
ceiving the statement of Madanlal. When he reached Poona, Rana 
should have asked the A.D.I.G. to arrest the persons whose names 
and descriptions had been disclosed in Madanlal's statement. 

(3) If telephone conversation were considered undesirable, the 
D.LG. should h l1 ;i civil cipher codr telegram, 


(4) The names that the D.LG. saw in Nagarvala's note book were 
act the names which Madanlal's statement disclosed and he wanted 
to know 'why the Poona C.ID. did not go to arrest man from 
Maharashtra . 

(5) It may be true that the D.LG. did not know the editor and 
proprietor of the Hindu Rashtra till he reached Poona. Therefore 
it would have been better if he had informed Rao Sahib Gurtu by 
cipher telegram. 

(6) Merely telling the D.LB. to take preventive measures was 
not enough. The D.LG. should have sent his own men from Poona 
tor the purpose. ! 

\u (7 ^o^f D *' G * has said that Rao Sahib Gurtu was present when 
the D.b.P. Poona was called and, the names of Apte, Godse and 
Badge were known from Rao Sahib Gurtu. That is exactly what 
Mr. Kamte had been saying all these days. 


(8) If Rao Sahib Gurtu had been informed by the D.I G 
would have taken necessary action. 

(9) The culprits might have been in Bombay or near Bombay 
but if the Poona C.LD. had information they would have made in- 
quiries in Poona and if they thought that the culprits belonged to 
Savarkar group, they would have gone to Bombay. 

(10) It was unfortunate that the D.LG. did not realise the neces- 
sity of sending a man to Delhi immediately. 

4.20 But what follows takes away the force of the criticism be- 
cause it says, "he was being corrected for not realising this so that 
In future he may not commit these mistakes again". Unfortunately 
there cannot be Gandhis over and over again, at least not in the 
very near future, and therefore this admonishing was wholly 
fatuous. j " J 

4.21 This correspondence to which the Commission has attached 
great importance shows this: i 

at Poona 

(1) That Mr. Rana should have contacted his 1 men 
rather than sending Delhi Police officers there. 

(2) After getting the statement of Madanlal on the 25th he 
should immediately have got into touch with Rao Sahib 
Gurtu and asked him to get on the move. 

(3) The D.LG. had failed in taking proper measures. 

4.22 The correspondence also shows that the statement of 
Madanlal, which was first made, did not particularise any person, 
excepting Karkare and the names or avocations of others were not 
givett. Whether the descriptions were there or not is not easily dis- 
cernible. J 

I 2f>0 ITA. 


4.23 In the opinion of the Commission the assessment of Mr. 
Kamte was correct and had the DJ.G. taken only the most element- 
ary step of asking his C.I.D. Poona about the identity of the asso- 
ciates of Karkare or Madanlal he would most probably have found 
out who they were. At any rate if officers could be flown from 
Poona after the murder to protect the Ministers in the Central Cabi- 
net, the same course could have fruitfully been adopted after the 
bomb was thrown and MadanlaPs statement of the 24th or 25th 
January had become available. 

Fourth Inquiry 

4.24 The fourth inquiry in Bombay was by way of a Cut Motion 
in the Bombay Legislative Assembly dated 12-3-1949 Ex. 232 
where Mr. Morarji Desai gave his version of the Government that 
Prof. Jain had seen him on 21st January 1948 and had given him 
certain information but Jain had not told him that he had also 
seen Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan, and Jain's name was not disclosed 
to the police before the 30th because Jain did not want his name to 
be disclosed. He then said that whatever information he had re- 
ceived he conveyed to Sardar Vallabhbhai Pate] at Ahmedabad 
where he, Mr. Desai, specially went to give that information to him. 
He also said that not only he informed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, 
but he also informed Mahatma Gandhi himself and told him that 
there was a real danger to his life and he implored him to be more 
careful and the only effective way that the danger could be checked 
was to search every person who was going to his residence or to his 
prayer meeting. But it was not possible to search these people 
without Mahatma Gandhi's knowledge and Mahatma Gandhi did 
not agree to any such thing. Mahatma Gandhi said that he would 
stop his prayers and go away from Delhi rather than reconcile him- 
self to the people being subjected to searches. That is why it was 
not possible for the Delhi Police to take better steps and the 
Bombay Police could do nothing in the matter. He said: 

"I told the police officer to take action against everybody who 
came under suspicion. Mr. Jain has not said that he gave me 
names of two other persons who ultimately were found to be 
in the conspiracy and who had nothing to do with the 

1 offence I have stated what steps were taken by the 

police force. I know all that because I was Inquiring of the 
police officer constantly as to what was being done not only 
before the incident, but even afterwards when the offence 
was being investigated, because I wanted to give him the 
benefit, if any of my views and knowledge. I found that 
they were constantly on the move. Even at midnight I found 
that they were on duty. I found that the Police were not 
even caring for their meals. They had so much concentrated 
on the work. That is why I cannot say that they failed in 
their duty." > 

4.25 The Minister then denied the complaint of Prof Jain that 
he was insulted or shouted, down when he went the next time after 
the murder to see the Ministers. 


'Nagarvala' s explanation 

4:26 Mr. Nagarvala was asked to give his explanation which he 
did and is marked Ex. 14. It was sent to Government of India by 
Mr. Dehejia with his letter, Ex. 170 dated 25th March, 1949. Ex. 14 
sets out the steps taken by him in the investigation, if one may so 
call it, which he conducted in Bombay after Mr. Morarji Desai gave 
him information about Karkare, etc. It is really a copy of the Crime 
Report from January 21, 1948 to January 30, 1948, It is not neces- 
sary to repeat the contents here because they are contained in the 
chapter dealing with the investigation at Bombay. To this he at- 
tached his letter to Mr. Sanjevi, Appendix A dated January 30, 
1948 which is really Ex. 8. He also attached to his explanation cer- 
tain other appendices— Appendix B, a list of places watched and 
names of persons watched during that period; Appendix C, his 
statement in court, portion of statement of Inspector Pinto and 
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Jaswant Singh. 

4.27 When this explanation, Ex. 14, was received in the Secreta- 
riat, there was certain noting on it (Ex. 168) which was adverse to 
what Nagarvala had done. The office pointed out the various in- 
firmities in the investigation which are worth mentioning. 

(1) Badge was well-known to D.SP. Poona. Why was he not 
contacted and why was Karkare made the central figure and the case 
started with Madanlal, 

(2) Why did the Delhi Police not bring MadanlaPs statement on 
January 22, 1948. 

(3) What efforts were made to establish contact with Delhi and 
what action did Rana take on MadanlaPs statement. 

(4) Did Nagarvala spot an editor with initials N.V.G. from 
Poona who was MadanlaPs companion. 

(5) Did Nagarvala go to Ahmednagar to look for links of Madan- 
lal there. Who was handling the investigation at Ahmednagar and 
Poona. If Badge was seen in Ahmednagar three days before and he 
was suspected, why was no action taken. 

4.28 When this note went to Mr. Morarji Desai, he held a dis- 
cussion with his Secretary and finally it was decided that Ex. 14 with 
the appendices should be sent on to the Government of India. 

4.29 On the receipt of this explanation and explanation of Mr, 
Sanjevi, Ex. 7 with the annexures, Mr. lengar made his remarks 
which have already been set out and Hon'bie the Home Minister, 
Sardar Patel, gave his remarks. The file was finally sent to 
Hon'ble the Prime Minister who just signed it. 



Index of Paragraphs 

?5.3 Movements of conspirators as shown by judgments. 

5.9 Prosecution story 

.5.17 Courts' findings 

5.19 Meeting after release of convicted prisoners. 

5.21 News in Indian Express 

5.22 Times of India 
5.27 Ketkar detained 

5.29 Interpellation in State Legislative 

5.30 Assembly and Parliament's interest 

5.34 Commission appointed and terms 

5.42 Trial Court and High Court findings and discussion 
of terms of reference 

5.49 Scope discussed 

5.63 Construction by Commission 


Scope of the Inquiry 

51 The circumstances under which this Commission was ap- 
Domid are these On January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was shot 
dead He was the topmost leader of India whose position was 
Ser than tnat of anyone else; he was the architect of a new in- 
dependent movement i.e., the achievement of freedom by non- 
violence a noval concept in a world riven by strife and abounding 
in violence war and aggression. He was both a saint and a poli- 
tician He was assassinated on January 30, 1948 while he was going 
to his daily prayer meeting at about 5 p.m. m the grounds of the 
Birla Hous Y e by revolver shots fired by Nathuram Godse who was 
arrested at the spot. Previous to the murder, a young Punjabi re- 
?ugee Madanlal Pahwa, had burst a bomb at the back of Btfla 
House damaging a wall and was arrested. In connection with that 
. "he ^eM Police were carrying on investigation, and that offence 
was found to be in pursuance of the conspiracy to murder Gandhrji. 

5 2 In connection with both these offences, eight persons were 
arrested and put on trial, and the facts of the conspiracy with its 
object of murdering Mahatma Gandhi are clearly set out m the 
iudkment of the learned trial judge, dated February 10, 1949, <md 
he judgment of the Full Bench of the High Court of East Punjab 
dated June 21, 1949. It is not necessary to repeat them here ex- 
cept to give a short resume of the story preceding the murder. 

Conspirators — movements of 

Story unfolded in the judgments of courts 

5 3 The story which the prosecution unfolded at the trial of the 
accused in the Gandhi Murder Conspiracy case sufficiently sets out 
the incidents which happened before the two occurrences i.e., the 
exploding of a gun cotton slab and the assassination of Ganahru 
which formed the bases of accusation against the accused in that 
case. The accused in that case were :— 

(1) Nathuram Godse, aged about 37. 

(2) Narain Apte, aged about 34. 

(3) Vishnu Karkare, aged about 38. 

(4) Madanlal Pahwa, aged about 20. 

(5) Shankar Kishtayya, aged about 20. 

(6) Gopal Godse, aged about 27. 

(7) V. D. Savarkar, aged about 66. 

(8) D. S. Parchure, aged about 47. 



Of these, Nathuram Godse and N. D. Apte were respectively editor 
: and manager of the newspaper, the Hindu Rashtra published in 
,t-oona Previously it was published under the name of the Aerani 
but when action was taken against it under the Press Emergency 
Powers Act, it ceased publication and restarted under its new name 
According to the judgment of the trial court, they were close as- 
sociates and members of the Hindu Mahasabha with identical views 
and the evidence before the Commission is to the same effect They 
were botn sentenced to death and their sentences were upheld by 
15 1949 rt 3nd th6y W6re ultimatel y executed on November 

5,4 V. R. Karkare belonged to Ahmednagar. He owned a hotel the 
Sm £ U6St H ^ S f' ther ?" * He was also a Hindu Mahasabhaite and 
W £l T an ! ^° d i e f nd , Ap , te had known him for a considerable 
I ™' -d • u ad 1 / entlca l Political leanings. Madanlal Pahwa was 
a young Punjabi refugee who had come into contact with and under 
the influence of V. R Karkare and through him he came info con- 
tact with Nathuram Godse and Apte. Badge was a man of ordi- 
nary status. He belonged to Gondhali caste of bards who specialise 

^nn7 0tl p nal mUSk , He WaS runnin S a shastra bhan dar (an arms 
shop) m Poona and was trafficking in arms, ammunitions and ex- 

in SSV.^T alS ° \ HindU Mahasabha "e. He had been helped 
m starting his business by many persons, including Mr G V Kat 

r 3 n r ^rr n f S N °- k ^ hankar Kishtayya' was a servant of Badge 
Gopal Godse was the brother of Nathuram Godse and V D Savar-' 
kar was. a well-known revolutionary leader who had distLmshed 
himself in his violent anti-British activities and had come into nro 
minence after his escape from a British ship in a French port He 
later became a Hindu Mahasabhaite—its President-and wa c 1 

Sabt leader a^Gwalio^T ° f that ^ ParChu?e ^a Hindu 
fn that town Gwahor; he was a medical practitioner and resided 

5.5 Of the accused, Madanlal threw a bomb or isniteH * mm 

the T o ab lnd Bl [ a ] i0US ? ? n JanUary 20 > 1948 - He wS aSestel at" 
the spot. And 10 days later, i.e., on January 30, 1948 Nathuram 
Godse fired three shots at Mahatma Gandhi from a close r-iSl 3 

ME^cT The m a U i dere J ° f ^ Maha ^ a He at ^atfrrS" 
„L * p , Tlle a , KUS «I "ere prosecuted for murder ami em 

own duties and investigation ir>tn w*^ +u • ^ \ a amtI0n to his 


5.7 D. E. Badge who turned an approver was arrested at Poona 
•on January 31, 1948. D. S. Parchure was first ordered to be detain- 
ed and kept as a detenu at Gwalior as from February 3, 1948 and 
was put under arrest for the offence of conspiracy etc on February 
17, 1948. Gopal Godse was arrested while on his way to his native 
village Uksan in Poona District on February 5, 1948. Savarkar was 
taken into custody and detained as from February 5, 1948 and was 
put under arrest in the case on March 11, 1948. Shankar Kishtayya 
was arrested at Bhuleshehar near the residence of Dikshitji Maharaj 
and Dadaji Maharaj in Bombay on February 6, 1948. N. D. Apte 
and Karkare were arrested at Pyrkes Apollo Hotel at Bombay on 
February 14, 1948. Nathuram Godse was arrested at the spot and 
Miadanlal had already been arrested on January 20, 1948, soon after 
lie exploded the "bomb". There were three other persons who 
were alleged to be in the conspiracy— Gangadhar Dandwade, Gan- 
gadhar Yadav and Suryadeo Sharma— but they were absconding and 
successfully evaded arrest. 

5.8 Vishnu R. Karkare was a kind of a hotelier at Ahmednagar. 
Madanlal was a refugee from Pakpattan Tehsil of Montgomery Dis- 
trict and was residing after the Partition at the refugee camp at 
Visapur about 20 miles away from Ahmednagar. Gopal Godse is 
the brother of Nathuram Godse and was a Government servant and 
at the time of his arrest was employed in the Motor Transport 
Spares Depot at Kirkee. Shankar was the servant of Badge and 
used to prepare handles for daggers manufactured by Badge D S- 
Parchure was a medical practitioner in Gwalior. Badge, the ap- 
prover, ^ who was of Gondhli caste, belonged to Chalisgaon but had 
.settled in Poona and was at one time associated with one Mr Atre 
the leader of the Congress Party, and was employed in the local 
municipality. After he was discharged from there, he was em. 
ployed by Mr. G. V. Ketkar, witness No. 1, for collecting funds for 
the Hindu Anath Ashram and Hindu Sangathan Samiti with which 
Mr. Ketkar was intimately connected. 

5.9 The story of the prosecution was that a conspiracy to murder 
Mahatma Gandhi was entered into sometime in December 1947 and 
Parchure, it was alleged, joined the conspiracy on January 27 1948 
In furtherance of the object of the conspiracy, Badge and Shankar 
brought two gun-cotton slabs and five hand-grenades with primers 
find detonators to Bombay on the evening of January 14 1948 which 
were kept at the residence of Dikshitji Maharaj with k servant of 
us. Apte and Nathuram Godse arrived at Bombay the same even- 
ing, and went to the house of Dikshitji Maharaj with Badge to 
procure a revolver from him but could not get one. Karkarl and 
Madanlal had arrived in Bombay sometime earlier and were stav- 
ing in Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan where Badge and Shankar also 
Stayed. . On the 15th the explosives kept at the house of Dikshitji 

raraj were taken over by Karkare and Madanlal and were 
brought to Delhi the same evening tied up in a bedding. Bad£e and 
Nathuram Godse returned to Poona-Badge in order to make ar- 
rangements about his bttandar and Nathuram to fetch his brother 
;opal Godse who had promised to provide him with a revSver 

■ and r S fu nk i a ^i5 et H5 B tf t( > Bomba y reaching there early on the 
.uurnmg ui the 17th. Evidently, A]rto mid Nathuram Godse were 


also in Bombay and they collected some money for expenses re- 
quired to carry out their plot. Nathuram Godse and Apte left by 
plane on the afternoon of the 17th arriving at Delhi in the evening; 
and stayed at the Marina Hotel, then a fairly posh European style 
hotel in Connaught Circus. Madanlal and Karkare had arrived the 
same day at about -12.30 p.m. and not being able to get accommoda- 
tion at the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan stayed at the Shariff Hotel. 
Badge and Shankar arrived at Delhi on the evening of the 19th and 
stayed at the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan. Gopal Godse arrived at 
Delhi sometime after 17th January. One account was that he arriv- 
ed on the evening of 18th January and met the others on 19th Jan- 
uary. He also stayed at Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan. Thus, Badge, 
Shankar, Gopal Godse and Madanlal stayed at the Hindu Maha- 
sabha Bhawan for the night. Apte and Badge and Shankar went 
to the Birla House on the morning of the 20th and made a survey 
of the prayer ground and the back of the servants quarters and 
then returned to Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan. In the jungle behind 
the Bhawan they tried out the two revolvers that they had brought 
but they were found to be unserviceable. 

5.10 Thereafter they all met at the Marina Hotel in Nathuram's 
room and the plan for the evening was finalised which was that 
Madanlal should explode the gun-cotton slab at the back of the 
Birla House in order to create a commotion and taking advantage 
of the panic thus caused, Badge and Shankar would fire at Mahatma 
Gandhi with the two revolvers and would also throw at him a hand- 
grenade each. Badge was to fire the revolver and throw a hand- 
grenade from the trellis work of the window of the room in the 
servants quarter immediately behind where Mahatmaji used to sit 
at the time of the prayers. He was to enter the room posing as a 
photographer with the object of taking a photograph of the prayer 
meeting. Gopal Godse, Madanlal and Karkare were to throw the 
remaining hand-grenades on Mahatmaji at the same time. Apte 
and Nathuram were to give signals for the various participants to 
carry out their respective and assigned parts. In pursuance of this 
plan, the gun-cotton slab and a hand-grenade were given to Madan- 
lal, one hand-grenade and revolver to Badge, one hand-grenade 
each to Gopal Godse and Karkare. The conspirators then left the 
Marina Hotel for Birla House, Madanlal and Karkare first, all the ] 
others excepting Nathuram Godse a little later in a taxi. Nathu- 
ram was to follow them. It is not necessary to give the rest of the 
story except to say that Madanlal ignited the gun-cotton slab on 
the wall near the back gate of Birla House but the others did not 
carry out their respective assigned parts and Nathuram Godse, Apte 
and Gopal Godse left immediately in the taxi by which they had 
come. Madanlal was arrested at the spot; Karkare, Badge and 
Shankar managed to escape. 

5.11 While Nathuram Godse and Apte were in Bombay they had 
unsuccessfully tried to get a pistol from Dadaji Maharaj and Dixit* 
ji Maharaj. From Delhi they went to Gwalior arriving at 10.30 p.m. 
on 27th January and stayed the night and the day following with 
Dr. Parchure to whom they disclosed their plan and with his help 
and with of Dandwate the absconding accused they were able to 
get a pistol from one Goel. Leaving Gwalior the same night they 

(i) Ex. 270 A— Pistol used by assassin Nathuram Godse. 
[Para. No. 5.11] 


(ii) Ex. 270 C— Another picture of the pistol. 
fPara. No. 5,21] 


arrived at Delhi the next morning where they were joined by Kar- 
I re and three of them spent the night in the retiring room at the 
Mm Main Railway Station. The next evening, i.e., on the 30th. 
lanuaiy? Nathura^Godse shot Mahatmaji dead and was arrested 
lit the spot. Two photographs of the assassin's pistol (Court Ex.. 
39) are attched herewith. (See next page). 

5.12 The Commission has got two documents Prepared which, 
show the movement of the accused from January 9, 1948 lhey 
also s't out the evidence in support of the movements indicated.. 
(See Exhibit 276 and Exhibit 276-A). 

513 It thus shows that the conspirators moved about from place 
l,> nlace The principal ones amongst them were staying at betlei 
da^Si bette/known hotels like tie Marina .Hotel New Delh^and 
the Elphinstone Annexe Hotel Bombay and after the incident o l the 
20th they managed to escape by tram-two to Poona and the pr m- 
cipal accused, i.e., Nathuram Godse and Apte to Kanpur en route. 
to Bombay. Karkare and Gopal Godse stayed the night in Delhi 
at the Frontier Hotel in Chandni Chowk and one left the following 
day and the other later. As far as the court record goes, it does 
not show that the conspirators were hidding themselves anywhere 
and beyond adopting pseudonyms they do not seem to have attempt- 
ed to hide themselves. 

514 On return to Bombay on January 23, Apte stayed at the 
Arya Pathik Ashram, Bombay, under an assumed name of D. Nara-- 
yan and so did Nathuram Godse. Thereafter Nathuram Godse and. 
Apte stayed in the Elphinstone Annexe Hotel from January 24, 
1948— Nathuram Godse stayed under an assumed name of Vma- 
yakrao. Apte spent the night between the 24th and 25th January 
1948 with a woman in the Arya Pathik Ashram and then shifted 
to Elphinstone Annexe Hotel where they (Apte and Gcdse) stayed 
npto January 27, 1948. On the morning of January 25, Naihuram 
Godse and Apte went to the Air India office and got two seats re- 
served in the names of Narayanrao and Vinayakrao by the plane 
leaving on the 27th January. The four of them— Nathuram Godse, 
Gopal Godse, Apte and Karkare— met at the house of G. M. Josm 
of the Shivaii Printing Press at Thana and conferred together xhere 
which really meant that they discussed their future plan to carry 
out the object of the conspiracy. 

5.15 On January 26, 1948, in the morning, Nathuram Godse and 
Apte met Dadaji Maharaj and Dixit] i Maharaj and asked their help 
to get a revolver but they did not succeed in getting one. On Jan- 
uary 27, 1948, both of them left Bombay for Delhi by air. It is alleg- 
ed that on the eve of their departure for Delhi the two principal 
conspirators, Godse and Apte, saw Savarkar but that is controver- 
sial. The rest of their movements, i.e., their reaching Delhi, pro- 
ceeding to Gwalior, staying there with Dr. Parchure and getting a 
revolver through him and returning to Delhi on the 29th January 
1948 and staying irr a retiring room at the Delhi Railway Station 
have already been set out above. On January 30, 1948, at 5 P.M., 
N;ithnram Godse carried QVA '■■■■■■ object of the conspiracy, firing three 
■hots •■:! point blank range and -thus killing Mahatma Gandhi. 


Tr^;! 6 fit Comm i ssion thus has a complete picture of the move, 

ITS? i fi hr°u D To r ?i 0rS t fr0m , the time ^ left Poona on January 
id ly^a, ngnt upio the time they were arrested on various dxiJ 

\uZTn n ?£ eSSa 7 1° pUrsue the course ° f the trial before the Special 
Judge, Delhi and the appeal before the East Punjab ffigh Court h ut 

Sf Pr fa 5 re ™ amS !^ at th , ese P ersons af ter the arres ^of Sadanla' and 
after the information which had been given by Professor Sir , ™ ™£ 
moving about in Bombay and in Delhi and othei ^facS an neS 
their names nor their identities could be discovered The S 

in°sp te'fTSuous 1 Tn ?*?*? ^ ^ and held that" this^ls 

'f^lle^^aSd^th?^^ 1 ? ° rder " d t0 ^ t7an r sport e e X d 
te ParchuS SHL V V^ C ° Urt ' two more wer ' e acquitted, 
•i.e., .raicnuie and Shankar Kishtayya. The anneal nf +h* vL+ J 

the accused persons was dismissed? the sentences of death on N^h^ 
ram Godse and Apte were confirmed unde ■ s 374 C PC P w t^" 
sentences passed on the other three were upheld. 6 

Noven?ber^ h 5 U 1SQ GO Tt and + Apte T re hanged in Ambal * &* on 

in fflSr fails Af^tmf^A™ kep } in Punjab Jail * and then 

they Successfullv n?™5 y & S6rved a Certain number of years 
uicy uubuccessimiy moved, on more occasions ^.n rm Q +u o 

were released Bomba y- Th e fact remains that these persons 

m^tehon, were sent out on a post card, Ex. 29, under he name of 
tranifatton 2£S ^TSSSSS &3SSSWfi£S£ 

(i.e., May Lord Ganpati bless) 
With respect of love— 

^ ruja and u.n,.i ..I ..ii.,i,- n„,,, by inviting ii„,,, here: You are 


therefore requested to remain present for this ceremony along with, 
your friends. 



Time— Thursday 12-11-1964 5*30 P.M. to 7'3° P.M. Place Udyan Kar>alaya 3 619 
Shaniwar Path, Poona - 2. 

5.20 It is significant to note that in this invitation Nathuram 
Godse was described as 'Deshbhakt', i.e., a patriot which is demons- 
trative of the mentality of the organisers of the function and it 
may not be too remote an inference that the invitees would be sym- 
pathetic if not holding the same or similar views. The affidavit 
iiled in the Bombay High Court by M. C. Ghaisas, who was also 
detained as a consequence of the function, shows that about 50 in- 
vitations were sent. Actually the attendance was about 3 or 4 times, 
that number. It has variously been described as 125 to 200. 

5.21 In the issue of the Indian Express dated the 14th November 

. 1964, Ex. 26, under the caption "POONA EDITOR KNEW OF THE 
PLAN TO MURDER MAHATMA GANDHI", there was a report of' 
the proceedings of this function by its Poona Correspondent to the 
effect that Mr. G. V. Ketkar, former editor of the Keswri and at that 
time editor of the Tarun Bharat presided at the junction and the 
occasion was described as a reception in the newspaper which in- 
deed it was and was given in honour of Gopal Godse and Vishnu 
Karkare Mr. G. V. Ketk'ar there made a speech in which he said 
that he knew from Nathuram Godse assassin of Gandhiji of thr- 
u plan" to murder Gandhiji quite a "few weeks earlier" but' he was 
opposed to Nathuram's idea. The proceedings of the function which 
may be termed a puj a or a meeting shows that Gopal Godse and 
ivarkare narrated their jail experiences. The following extract 
from the newspaper The Indian Express, Bombay, shows "what ex- 
actly Mr. Ketkar said :— 

"Mr. Ketkar presided over the function, which was held in 
Udyan Mangal Karyalaya. It was attended by about 100 men 
and women. 

"Mr. Ketkar disclosed that for about three months prior to 
Gandhiji's murder, Nathuram 'used to discuss with me the pros 
and cons of his idea to kill Gandhiji. He was opposed to 
the idea and 'used to tell Nathuram to consider the conse- 
quences, both social and political'. 

"Mr. Ketkar said that after the first incident (Madan Lai 
had exploded a bomb at Gandhiji's prayer meeting a few days- 
before the murder), Badge (who turned approve?) had com 
to Poona and told him (Mr. Ketkar) of 'their future plans 7 . 

to Mlf GiSSjL addGd that he thUS kneW that they Were goin ^ 

"As Mr. Ketkar said these things, Mr. Gopal Godse asked' 
him not to speak 'more about it'. But Mr. Ke to^fSJ 
'they will not arrest me now for that' » d 


5.22 Ex, 27B is a report of the proceedings as given in the Times 
=p| India dated 16th November 1964 which is a little more informative. 
Therein it is said that Mr. Ketkar recently asserted that he had 
-advance information about Nathuram Godse's intention to assassinate 
Mahatma Gandhi, and told the Times of India News Service, that he 
had informed the late Balukaka Kanitkar about Godse's intention 
to murder Mahatma Gandhi and that Kanitkar had written to 
Mr. Kher but the State Government did not act on the information 
received. Ketkar also said that he tried to dissuade Nathuram 
Godse from doing bodily harm to Gandhiji. Mr. Ketkar further 
■disclosed that Nathuram Godse, had in a public speech, said that he 
would like to see how Mahatma Gandhi would realise his wish of 
living upto 125 years. This disclosure about the advance informa- 
tion was condemned by the Poona City District Congress Committee 
as a dangerous trend which was harmful to the State. The President ] 
of the D.C.C., Mr. B. N. Sanas, drew the attention of the State Gov- 
ernment to Mr. Ketkar's statement and he alsq wanted the Govern- 
ment to take note of the fact that those who had been sentenced in 
the Mahatma Gandhi Murder case were felicitated by certain persons 
in Poona on their release from prison. 

5.23 When the Indian Express report appeared in its issue dated 
.November 14, 1964, Mr. G. V. Ketkar issued a clarification which is 
as revealing as hi s previous speech. This is Ex. 27A 9 and appeared in 
the Indian Express of November 17, 1964. He confirmed the news 
being given to the then Premier Mr. B. G. Kher through the late 
Balukaka Kanitkar to whom Mr. Ketkar had conveyed Nathuram's 
intention to kill Gandhiji. He further said that the report i s the 
previous issue of the Indian Express was "generally correct" but the 
objection that Ketkar took to the report was in regard to the use of 
the words "plan to kill Gandhiji". The clarification was in the 
■following words: — 

"In his 'clarification', Mr. Ketkar said that what Nathuram 
had told him was his 'intention 5 to kill Gandhiji and not his 
'plan' to murder Gandhiji." 

* * * # .j. 

"I stated in my closing remarks that after Nathuram Godse 
had disclosed to me some months before (Gandhiii's murder) 
his intention of murdering Gandhiji I had tried to dissuade him 
on political, social and moral grounds. 

"Published reports of that speech are generally correct 1 
had spoken about it (Nathuram's intention) to the late Ba^u- 
SH ^ amtkar - He (Kanitkar) had then written to the then 
Chief Minister. B G. Kher, informing him NathuraU intS 
uon. Kanitkar had shown me a copy of that letter (to Kher). 

"Since I expressed opposition to Nathuram Godse he did 
not speak to me about the matter., Hence I had nS come to 
know m advance his actual plan." 

I 5 ' 2 t/ n * h e sa ™ e iss ? e > the Indian Express adversely commented 
upon Mr. Ketkar's conduct. It said that Ketkar's foreLioXdS of 
the assassination of Mahatmn Gandhi only added to the JiySy of 


the circumstances preceding the crime. In other words, the Poon^ 
Editor had information from Godse himself of the assassin's Inten- 
tion' and not of his 'plan'. This subtle difference does not greatly 
alter the patent fact that Mr. Ketkar, as a responsible citizen, had a 
clear obligation to prevent the assassination as far as it lay in his 
power. It also said that it was the duty of the Government to come 
►out with the facts in fairness to the Poona editor. The paper 
added — 

"But the story would not end there. Even if Mr. Ketkar 
is cleared by an official confirmation of his claim, a further 
explanation would still be required of those who last week 
made such a show of Godse's 'martyrdom'. The Poona 'recep- 
tion' for the assassin's two accomplices was a sordid reminder 
of the ugly spirit which still moves some people in this country. 
Have we really fallen so low that not only the murderer of the 
Father of the Nation but also those who, in the eyes of the 
law, helped him in his heinous act are to be regarded as 
national heroes? The Poona 'reception' was a shame beyond 
description. There can be n two opinions about it." 

5.25 The Poona Daily News also published a report cf Ketkar's 
clarification in its issue of 16th November, 1964, Ex. 28. There the 
clarification is different. A reference is made by Mr. Ketkar to the 
speech of Nathuram Godse at a meeting mentioning about Gandhiji's 
utterances of living upto 125 years and then he mentioned his having 
a talk with Balukaka Kanitkar about this intention of Nathuram 
Godse and it was Balukaka Kanitkar who had "relayed" the fact to 
Mr. B. G. Kher. Further, it is asserted that everything to avoid this 
calamity was thus done "when I told Nathuram that it is wrong way 
to behave in the politics and it would have grave and misdirected 

5.26 Ex. 182 dated November 24, 1964, is a letter from the District 
Magistrate to the Government of Bombay regarding reaction to the 
disclosure made by G. V. Ketkar. Poona City, it said, was stirred 
l>y Ketkar's statement and the subsequent functions to celebrate the 
death anniversary of Nathuram and the situation had become tense 
l»i 1 1; because of the intervention of the leaders of political parties ^o 
mishap took place. 

5.27. By an order dated November 24, 1964, the District Magistrate 
Poona, ordered the detention amongst others of G. V. Ketkar." It will 
he relevant to note at this stage that after the comments in the 
Indian Express and before the passing of the order of detention on 
November 23,, 1964, Mr. Ketkar left Poona and fled to Madras on 
Mlh November. On November 25, 1964, he surrendered himself 
More the Commissioner of Police at Madras. He was then brought 
l aCK to -Poona and on the way when the train was within the 
boundaries of the Maharashtra State, the order of detention was 
Nrved on him at midnight and he was first detained in Poona 
I ervada Jail and then in *'Akola District Prison". 

I After his detention he put in a petition, Ex. 18, to the Review- 
wilhority under the Defence of -India Rules, wherein he denied 


the allegations which had been made against him in the Indiari 
Express report and he tried to meet the inference which the com- 
ments in that newspapers had drawn. He stated therein that he- 
met Balukaka Kanitkar and conveyed to him Nathuram's public 
speech and his corroborative private talk with him (Ketkar) and he 
urged on Balukaka t communicate the fact to the authorities and 
that Balukaka had done so. He also stated therein that "shocking 
confession was nothing new and that he had disclosed it earlier to- 
Mr. K. K. Khadilkar who is now the Deputy Speaker of the Lower 
K'wt?^ examined before this Commission at witness. 
No 97 but he had no recollection of any such talk. It is difficult to 
imagine that if there had been any such talk, it could have been 

iJl'l 9 Evidently there were interpellations in the Maharashtra Legis- 
lative Assembly on February 25, 1965 in regard to the reception in 
M°Sn r ^} G ° dse 1 and Karkare who had been convicted in the 
Mahatma Gandhi Murder case. According to Mr. Ketkar himself 
there was a furore in the public press and as a consequence he 

botfHo^f o°f r p re r to b f de i ain f d - There was also an q uproarTn 

In tt, P H Sn?f Payment and indignant speeches were made there. 

LrdSl t tateS / hei ]T a Callin § Attention Motion in 

"Plan" o? Nath ir.^r H m f 6 by Ml > G " V " Ketkar regarding the 
tt nr* r athuram G °dse to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi Th^ 

Home Minister, Mr. Gulzari Lai Nanda, in his speech said that ",t a 
meeting to felicitate Gopal Godse and Vishnu Karkar Mr Ket>ar 

^o -tssTnlte Mi^ had ^°T- ° f the intention of Nathuram Codse 
to thflat?^^ r T^ Ga + n v, dhl "FiW «> nveyBd this ^formation 
BafSaka a nd Mr kS " r ° U f h ? al " kaka Kanitkar; that as both 
t^e^ -s makffig 1 

consultation with the Government of Maharashtra dS 

v. Q 3 30 F- r - A *?• Mani asked the Home Minister whether he hJ 
reSeltotSladT/ 1 " ^r^ hapPened at ^ ^etffig ard 

who was an "accessory before the act" against a person 

said'Lf^^^hS^^ri? 6 a sp r ted ^ eech *J 

(1) disclosures abo^uLplan " mS^haS gS^ 066 ^ 1 
by Mr. Ketkar, and (2) the oraaSSSn nf ?u Gandhl Y ere raade ' 
further said that at thi rt™ * * nisation of the reception itself. He 

people had a Slfng ^hat There Sh^T °i M 1 ahatma Gand l 
somewhere and that h? h a $Tw £ SOme derel iction of duty 

should have Seen glen 4 saidf- *** the P rotecti °n which bl 

the whl St i^r^I^WjPowe^d enquiry into 
whether and in what mam£r ?f n . m / de in or <3er to find out 


Mr. Ketkar, what he did later on, to whom he sent, and so on? 
I think that if it had been so much talked about at that time, 
the would-be murderer coming and talking to Mr. Ketkar, it is 
tantamount to an admission that the matter had been discussed 
in a conspiratorial manner amongst others also. What was the 
Bombay Government doing at that time? We would like to 
know whether the Bombay Government and the Central Gov- 
ernment and the Central Intelligence had any inkling or indi- 
cation with regard to such things. This is very very 

He added that he would suggest that because there was a deliberate 
.dereliction of duty on the part of some people in high authority who 
iu<! got information through Mr. G. V. Ketkar directly or indirectly, 
be would suggest that a high-powered enquiry be held into the whole 
"utter. He ended his speech by saying: — 

"I should like to know whether they, after having failed 
to protect Mahatma Gandhi's "life, are today going to allow 
these kinds of things. All these things have to be explained." 

5.32 Another Member, Mr. Thengari, wanted to know whether the 
Government were forewarned by Mr. Balukaka Kanitkar who had 
Urged it to take precautions. 

5.33 Professor M. B. Lai said the fact that Ketkar presided over 
foe meeting indicates that he was not so innocent as he tried to show 
himself to be and that he had written a number of articles inciting 
hatred against Mahatma Gandhi. Many other Members expressed 
Hicir feeling of disgust at the hideous glorification of such murders 
like the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. It was under these cir- 
"n nstances that this Commission of Inquiry was set up by the 
Central Government. 

5.34 The Commission has appended to this portion a copy of the 
I'.irliamentary Debates which show how the Members of Parliament 

cted to the revelations made by Mr. Ketkar. Appendix II. 

6.35 In pursuance of these debates the Central Government by a 
ROti f 'cation dated March 22, 1965, appointed a Commission of Inquiry 
fcr the purposes of making an inquiry into the matters of public 
importance therein specified and the terms of reference were: — 

(a) Whether any persons, in particular Shri Gajanan Viswanath 
Ketkar, ot Poona, had prior information of the conspiracy 

of Nathuram Vinayak Godse and others to assassinate 
Mahatma Gandhi: 

(b) whether any of such persons had communicated the said 
information to any authorities of the Government of Bom- 
bay or of the government of India; in particular, whether 

he aforesaid Shri Ketkar had conveyed the said informa- 
tion to the late Bal Gangadhar Kher, the then Premier of 
Bombay, through the late Balukaka Kanitkar; 


(c) if so, what action was taken by the Government of Bomba y, 
in particular by the late Bal Gangadhar Kher, and the 
Government of India on the basis of the said information. J 

Mr. Gopal Swarup Pathak, M.P., a Senior Advocate of the Supreme 
Court was appointed to make the inquiry. On his being appointed 
a Central Minister and then Governor of the State of Mysore, this 
Commission was reconstituted and I was appointed to conduct the 
inquiry. That is how this Commission of Inquiry came to be 

5.36 The terms of reference were amended by notification No. 
31/28/68-Pol.I(A) dated October 28, 1968, and in clause (c) the words 

"and by the officers of the said Governments" were added with* 
retrospective effect so that the third clause now reads as under:— < 

(c) If so, what action was taken by the Government of 
Bombay, in particular by the late Bal Gangadhar Kher, 
and the Government of India and by the officers of the 
said Governments on the basis of the said information. 

5.37 The first term, i.e., (a), refers particularly to Mr. Ketkar of 
Poona and whether he or any other person had prior information of 
the conspiracy of Nathuram Godse and others to assassinate Mahatma 

5.38 The second term refers to any communication by such per- 
sons, as are mentioned in the first term, of the information to the 
Government of Bombay or the Government of India and in particu- 
lar whether Mr. Ketkar had conveyed this information through 
Balukaka Kanitkar to the late Balasahib Kher. 

5.39 And the third term refers to the action taken by one or the 
other or both the Governments or any of the officers of the said two! 

5.40 Clause (b) is wide enough to cover not only the Government \ 
of Bombay and the Government of India but also any of the autho- 
rities of those Governments which would include various officers 
under the Governments including those belonging to the police and 
civil administration. 

5.41 Now the first term uses the words "had prior information of 
the conspiracy of Nathuram Vinayak Godse and others to assassinate 
Mahatma Gandhi" and the use of the word "conspiracy" in the con- 
text, it is submitted, perhaps not unjustifiably, is significant and 
important. Is the Commission confined to the prior knowledge of 
"conspiracy" as it is defined under section 120A of the Indian Penal 
Code or does it refer to the general danger to Mahatma Gandhi's 
life from a group of persons which would include Nathuram Godse 
as their mentor. The danger could have been from other persons 
also as was suggested by Mr. Morarji Desai in his evidontv before the 
Commission or was initial at, by Gopal Godse, witnesi No 33 


5.42 Both the trial court which tried the Gandhi Murder Con- 
spiracy case and the High Court to which the appeal was taken after 
the conviction, have given their findings as to when the conspiracy 
came into existence. According to the judgment of the Special 
Judge Mr. Atma Chgiran, existence of the conspiracy could be deduced 
at least on January 9, 1948. The learned judge has said: — 

"There is no evidence forthcoming on behalf of the prose- 
cution as to when the 'conspiracy' was first entered into and 
by whom and where. However, it may safely be inferred from 
the "movements of the accused and their conduct that the 
'conspiracy' was in .existence at least on 9th January 1948 when 
Narayan D. Apte sent Vishnu R. Karkare and Madanlal K. 
Pahwa along with two more individuals to examine the 'stuff' 
at the house of Digambar R. Badge, Narayan D. Apte, Vishnu 
R. Karkare and v Madanlal K. Pahwa must have been in the 
'conspiracy' at that time. Nathuram V. Godse comes in the 
picture first on 10th January 1948 when he along with Narayan 
D. Apte asked Digambar R. Badge to be supplied with two 
gun-cotton-slabs and five hand-grenades. Nathuram V. Godse 
must have been in the 'conspiracy' at that time. Digambar R. 
Badge joined the 'conspiracy' on 15th January 1948 when he 
agreed to accompany Nathuram V. Godse and Narayan D. Apte 
to Delhi. Gopal V. Godse must have been in the 'conspiracy' 
on 14th January 1948 when he put in an application for seven 
days' casual leave. Shankar Kistayyaa joined the 'conspiracy' 
on 20th January 1948 when he was told by Digambar R. Badge 
the purpose of their visit to the Birla House. Dattatraya S. 
Parchure joined the 'conspiracy' on 27th January 1948 when 
he agreed to get a pistol procured for Nathuram V. Godse and 
Narayan D. Apte." 

5.43 The East Punjab High Court accepted this finding regarding 
file coming into existence of the conspiracy. There is also the evi- 
dence of Gopal Godse, witness No. 33. He 
Riade up his mind to finish Gandhiji when 
January 13, 1948, his resolve to go on fast. 

stated that Nathuram 
Gandhiji justified on 

5.44 If the scope of the Commission is only to be circumscribed 
b the prior knowledge regarding "conspiracy" then any information 
Ret anybody might have had in regard to the danger to the life of 
Mahatma Gandhi from individual persons in Poona or wherever they 
Might be would be excluded from the scope of the Inquiry unless 
thi re is proof "of .their agreeing to do an illegal act" or they had 
* Mauled together or formed a plot to do so. In S. 120A. the word 
Criminal conspiracy' is defined as follows: — 

k S. 120A. When two or more persons agree to do, 
be done, — 

or cause to 

(1) an illegal act. or 
tl $) an abt which fj i 

ml MhM'al 

■d I 

illegal means, 

( * I i n 1 1 1 ) ; 1 1 con: 


Provided that no agreement except an agreement to 
commit an offence shall amount to a criminal conspiracy \ 
unless some act besides the agreement is done by one or' 
more parties to such agreement in pursuance thereof. 

_ Explanation.— It is immaterial whether the illegal aS 
is the ultimate object of such agreement or is merely 
incidental to that object." J 

5.45 Conspiracy, according to the Shorter Oxford English Diction-! 
ary, means a combination of persons for an evil or unlawful purpose- 
an agreement between two or more to do something criminal, illegal 
or reprehensible; a plot. 5 "n"«*i, i^egai, 

5.46 In Webster's Third International Dictionary the meaning is] 
as follows: — 

Conspiracy: 1; (a) an illegal, treasonable, or trecherous plan 
to harm or destory another person, group, or entity; 
(b) an agreement manifesting itself in words or deeds and j 
made by two or more persons confederating to do an 
unlawful act or use unlawful means to do an act which is 
lawful: Confederacy 2. a combination of persons banded 
secretly together and resolved to accomplish an evil or 
unlawful end: 3. a striking concurrence of tendencies, 
circumstances, or phenomena as though in planned accord. 

5.47 In the notification, the word used in clause (a) is 'conspiracy' 
which is a term of art and when used in legal documents must 
ordinarily connote the meaning given to it in the law relating to 
conspiracies as contained in the Indian Penal Code. And in this 
case, the conspiracy is specified as being a conspiracy of Nathuram 
Oodse and others to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi. Even according 
to its dictionary meaning, conspiracy is a combination for unlawful 
purposes; a plot, and is connected with something illegal. 

ioJ* 4 u S S Y^ w T ed J nd so considered, anything disclosed in Julyl 
1947 by Balukaka Kanitkar or Mr. Ketkar or both of them indivi- 
dually or collectively, even if it was of a definite kind, would bei 
excluded as there was no conspiracy of Nathuram Godse then. 

5.49 If the scope of the Inquiry is confined to the knowledge of 
conspiracy technically so called, in the Penal Code or its meaning 
as given in dictionaries and if the conspiracy came into existence 
sometime on the 9th of January 1948 or thereabout or even in Nov- 
ember 1947 then any inquiry into any knowledge or information in 
possession of Mr. G. V. Ketkar or anyone else before that date would 
be dehors the terms of reference in the , notification and any inquiry 
by this Commission constituted under that notification with that 
limited mandate would be barred. 

5.50 In both its legal sense and in its non-legal sense the word 
'conspiracy' has reference to a combination or banding together. And 
therefore if one wore i<> p[ivo to this wonl the le/fnl meaning of 
S I150A Imlt.m renal Code or Hie ordinary con noln lion ol bunding 


Lner then unless G. V. Ketkar's or other evidence refers to such 
Jolting of which the architect was Nathuram Godse, the scope of 
Hh Commission's Inquiry will be extremely constricted and narrow. 

IJ.51 If on the other hand the word 'conspiracy' is not given its 
tedmical meaning then anything known or coming to the knowledge 
r Messrs. Ketkar or Balukaka Kanitkar individually or to both of 
Mum together or to any other individual relating to the intention 
ai plan to murder Mahatma Gandhi or relating to a threat or danger 
i.» his life would be within the scope of the Inquiry by this Conx- 
ion. A plan or intention may be of one person or more than 
utK! person acting together but conspiracy can only be between two 
or more than two persons. It is not even alleged that information 
given by Mr. Ketkar to Balukaka Kanitkar, assuming that it was 
i en, was rgearding a conspiracy or banding together of two persons 
ii more and therefore if the Commission were to attach to the word 
'conspiracy' its technical meaning that information would not be 
vilhin the boundaries of the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry 
■ i up by the notification. And that would hardly be in conformity 
mIIi what the Parliamentary debates disclose or what clearly 
appears to be the matter which was agitating the minds of the public 
■fleeted in the speeches of the various Honourable Members of 
i '.i 1 1 iament, in the Council of States or in the H'ousse of the People. 

B 52 If the Commission were to take a technical view of the word- 
ing of the notification then prior to 20th January 1948 the only person 
■ itiiside the accused persons who had prior knowledge ot the con- 
spiracy was Professor Jain and his two friends with whom he held 
| Iks about Madanlal's disclosures; and Mr. G. V. Ketkar to whom 
nuch a plan was disclosed by D. R. Badge on or about the 23rd 
J nnuary 1948. Nobody has even alleged that before January 20, 1948 
I'm lessor Jain informal anyone in authority of the existence of 
conspiracy or even of the danger to Mahatma Gandhi's life; of 
rnurse after January 20, 1948, when Madanlal was arrested and he 
mnde a "confessional" statement, the Delhi Police also came to know 
.,1 1.1 ie existence of the conspiracy but as to when they came to 
know about the identity of the conspirators or the participants m 
Mm offence may not be so easy to say or even relevant at this stage. 

(5 ,53 Professor Jain's knowledge of the conspiracy to put it in 
his own words was this: — 

"Then he (Madanlal) said that there was a conspiracy to 
murder. I asked, whom do you want to murder. Do you 
want to murder me. He said that he did not know who 
was to be murdered. I astefed him: "do you want + to 
murder Jinnah." H e said: "ho, because Jinnah was^too 
well guarded and nothing could be done about him. jL 
named Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Then I mentioned 
Sardar Patel. He said: "no". From my house I took him 
to the sea shore. I tried to draw him out by talking nicely. 
Even then he would not give the name. So I put a direct 
question as to who the person was that was going to be 
murdered. He named Mahatma Gandhi." 


5.54 It may be added that on the 21st January Professor Jairf 
gave this information of the conspiracy to Premier B. G. Kher and 
Mr. Morarji Desai and reference may be made to Mr. Morarji Desai's. 
statement as PW. 78 in the court of the Special Judge at page 16$ 
of the High Court record. Even there the word used is not con- 
spiracy but what is said is "He (Jain) then said that Madanlal his* 

friends had decided to take the life of a great leader Madanlal 

then gave the name of Mahatma Gandhi." 

5.55 In his statement before the Commission in answer to a. 
question regarding conspiracy, Mr. Morarji Desai said: — 

"There were rumours that there was a conspiracy going on^ 
against Gandhiji because of the Partition and of the 55* 
crores. I did not hear people saying that there was no 
escape for him and his life was in danger. This was about; 
the time when he undertook the fast." 

So that this also puts the matter in January 1948. 

5.56 A Commission of Inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry 
Act is, it has been so held by the Supreme Court, a fact-finding body- 
and is not a judicial tribunal in the setnse that that word is used. If r 
the word 'conspiracy' and the language of the terms of the notifica- 
tion constituting this Commission of Inquiry were to be interpreted 
as statutes, statutory orders or legal documents are interpreted, ie. T , 
according to the rules of interpretation! by courts and other judicial 
or quasi judicial tribunals, then whatever was said and debated in 
Parliament previous to the notification constituting this Commission 
may not be relevant for its interpretation and if the word 'conspiracy^ 
were to be strictly and legally construed, the mandate of Parliament 
and its direction for or requirement of collection of facts connected 
with Mr. Ketkar or Balukaka Kanitkar and what they said or did' 
and what information they gave would not be carried out and the- ] 
wishes of Parliament would be thwarted, frustrated and remain 
unfulfilled and the debate would become sterile. That would be* J 
stultifying the Commission itself and make its setting up thoroughly 
futile, useless and inutile if not facetious. That should be prevented 
and avoided as far as it is reasonably possible. 

5.57 Now two persons are mentioned by name in clauses (a) and 
(b) of the notification— G. V. Ketkar and Balukaka Kanitkar. So* 
it will be fruitful to discuss at this stage what they disclosed to the* ! 
authorities if they did disclose anything at all or anything definite.. 

5.58 The evidence of Mr. G. V. Ketkar does not disclose his know- 
ledge of conspiracy prior to January 20, 1948 and in this word. 
"evidence" would include his statement as a witness before the Com- 
mission; his petition and affidavit to the Bpmbay High Court; petition 
to the Detenus Reviewing Board or any other document wmch he 
has chosen to place before this Commission. As a matter of fact, 
before January 20, 1948, the only person who had prior information 
of the conspiracy as such was, as has been said above, Priofessor 

Jain, but he, to pUt tt mildly ;hhI <>ven charitably, was sceptical, 


WO re than once and was readily vaiteWe W BJP. hatever infor . 
appear and was always ready and anxious to give 
mation he possessed. 

5.59 Professor Jain has deposec 1 with regard [^XleTeSS 
tl,;it somawhere in early January Mada inlal m » * • ^ 

,,,,:< returning from the eollege and he . ««« to (J S^g ^ 

i„ lalk to him and accompanied Jam to ms house Jia Madarl ial 
„„.«, watehing from a little dartanea ^J^^ t random » 

S 28 and" ProSsor y£*« *£fc3& "|&£C 

•sTnd Professor Jain and his colleagues who knew anything 
, S the conspScy. Professor Jain's two colleagues and friends 
„ equally undecided and sceptical about what Jain told them. 

., <;n Tt would be relevant to mention that what Professor Jain 
, s friers say thly knew about the conspiracy, must have been 
i J wV o Pari amentwhen they debated the statements of Mr. G 
V Ketkar because thev had appeared as prosecution witnesses at 
L I Hal and ? &# or otherwise of their behaviour and per- 
termance was not the basis or the reason or the cause of Mia- 
in. 11 In ry debate. 

■> 01 The debate in Parliament and the story disclosed by Mr 

ar which led to the matter being taken up by Parliament and 

„,I,.,II V discussed there does not point to exclusion of Ketkar s 

. Z* L IVomH.h- scope of the Inquiry, rather it is a pomter the 

hi'? wav Ami II.- Commission Ls of Hi- -pinion that tts mnndnte 

„„ ,,„,;.'.' ;„| ,, , ,,, ( .,i,- Into Iho whole matter and discuss 


the evidence produced before it. It does not propose to circum- 
scribe the Inquiry within the narrow limits of the legal connotation 
of "conspiracy" or its dictionary meaning which was the matter in 
issue at the Gandhi Murder trial. 

5.62 The rule of construction of statutes which has been adopted 
by courts ever since the Lincoln College Case, 1 and which has uni- 
formly been accepted as the proper rule of construction is Exposition 
Ex Visceribus Actus, i.e., language of the whole Act has to be looked 
at. And the court has to consider any other part of the Act which 
throws light on the intention of the Legislature and which may 
serve to show that the particular provision ought not to be constru- 
ed as it would be< alone and apart from the rest of the Act; in other 
words, every clause of a statute should be construed with reference 
to the context and other clauses in the Act to make a consistent 
enactment of the whole statute. 2 

5.63 Thus construed, we have to look at the three terms of refer- 
ence, (a), (b) and (c), together and to construe them together. This 
rule of construction requires that in order to effectuate the parti- 
cularised portion in terms (b) referring to the information given 
through Balukaka Kanitkar, we have to add to the words, "con- 
spiracy of Nathuram Vinayak Godse and others to assassinate 
Mahatma Gandhi", the words "plan or intention to assassinate 
Mahatma Gandhi or danger to the life of Mahatma Gandhi or the 
threats to his life" as in cases of casus omissus* This is so because 
the conspiracy came into existence, according to the findings of the 
court, at least on January 9, 1948, and according to the case of the 
prosecution in December, 1947. As the letter of Balukaka Kanitkar 
was written in July 1947, it could possibly not have referred to any 
conspiracy to murder Mahatma Gandhi as technically understood. 
It must have reference to intention or plan to assassinate or to any 
threat given to the life of Mahatma Gandhi or any danger sensed 
against his life. As a matter of fact, Balukaka Kanitkar's letter, so 
far as the Commission has been able to see, referred to the life of 
Congress leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi. 

5.64 In any case, to carry out the intention of Parliament and 
to subserve its directions and to give a harmonious interpretation, 
it is necessary to construe the words "conspiracy to assassinate" to 
include at it were plan or intention to assassinate or danger to the 
life of Mahatma Gandhi or threats to his life. 

5.65 The Commission, therefore, holds that it is within the scope 
of this Inquiry not only to inquire about the knowledge of persons 
mentioned in the terms of reference about the conspiracy of Nathu- 
ram Godse and others to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi but also to 
enquire into any knowledge of plan or intention to kill or threat or 
danger to his life. 

5.66 The story as disclosed by the eyidence before the Commis- 
sion is that sometime in July 1947 Balukaka Kanitkar got some 
information in regard to danger to the life of top Congress leaders 

i. (1595) 3 Co. Rep. 58b. 

%, See Lord Davey in Canada Sngar Refining Go. V. R. (1898) A. C. 73$, 741. 


which included Mahatma —^sSSffS 
B . G. Kher at Delhi. So, if the ^ttena |b||JJ If & case> 

what is contained in the second ^o£d be exc iuae ^ fo 

to the expression "conspiracy of Nathuram Godse a d ^^ 
assassinate Mahatma Gandhi the technical mea 8 
in the Indian Penal Code is S^^J^J^M^ wiU be left more 

will be «^^.^^^^Xatod Godse, Apt,, 
or less in the position that the court was. m , « i mu rder 

s^^Sw debates " Mch have 

been attached as appendix II to this Report. 

5.67 In the opinion of the ^S^S^SSSS^^^ 
too narrow and ^^^^tSc^^hi adopted the 
Sfe^eta^^wordr prior Jgjtodj. of .^^2 
assassinate" to include prior kawgedge^ E g Sf it the technical 
Gandhi's life or threats to his life rather than gwmgi 

complied with. 

5.69 The first term of reference, (a) , was as follows: — 

(*\ Whether any persons, in particular Shri Gajanan Viswa- 
( ' nath KetS of Poona, had prior information of the cons- 
ptocy of Nathuram Vinayak Godse and others to assassi- 
nate Mahatma Gandhi. 

When analysed, this term requires finding out— 

(i) whether any persons had prior information of the cons- 
(ii) in particular whether Mr. G. V. Ketkar of Poona had this • 

<m the conspiracy which is indicated in the terms of refer- 
( ' ence is the one in which the participants were Nathuram 
Godse as the principal and also others; and 


(iv) the object of the conspiracy mentioned was to assassinate 
Mahatma Gandhi. ■ 

5.70 In order to decide the first point, it is necessary to deal with 
the statement of Mr. Ketkar himself. He is witness No. 1. It will 
next have to be seen whether his statement receives corroboration 
from documentary, oral or circumstantial evidence. The Commis- 
sion will first discuss the statement of Mr. Ketkar and see how far 
his own statement supports the claim that he had prior informa- 
tion. (See Chapter XX) . 

Index of Paragraphs 

6.2 Godse 

6.10 Apte 

6.14 Karkare 

6.25 Gopal Godse 

6.27 Badge 


Background of the accused 

6.1 It will be helpful if the background of the various accused 
persons and their movements after the conspiracy was formed are 
set out at this stage. These are based on Exhibits 276 and 276-A. 

Godse ' 

6.2 He was one of the originators of the Rashtra Dal which held 
its first camp in Poona in May, 1942. On January 16, 1944, he with 
Apte decided to start a newspaper and they did start "the Agrani" 
on March 1, 1944. 

6.3 On January 2 or 3, 1948, Godse and Apte went to Ahmed- 
nagar and met Karkare. On January 10 Godse and Apte were pro- 
mised by Badge that he would supply them with ammunition, 
termed the stuff, at the Hindu Mahasabha office at Bombay. On 
January 14, 1948 Godse and Apte met Savarkar. Badge brought the 
promised ammunition. Godse, Apte, Badge, and Shankar, went to 
the Dixitj i Maharaj and left the ammunition there either with him 
or with his servant. It is not quite clear which it was, 

6.4 On January 15, 1948, Godse, Apte, Badge, Karkare, and 
Madanlal^ held a meeting at the Hindu Mahasabha office and then 
went to Dixitj i Maharaj and took from there the ammunition that 
they had left there. Karkare and Madanlal were then asked to leave 
for Delhi. Godse evidently returned to Poona. Badge also promised 
to go to Delhi. 

6.5 On January 17, 1948, Godse, Apte, Badge and Shankar saw 
Savarkar at his house. Godse and Apte left Bombay for Delhi by 
2-00 p.m. plane and arrived at Delhi at 7-30 p.m. 
and stayed at the Marina Hotel from the 17th till the 
20th January, 1948. On 19th January they saw Badge at the Hindu 
Mahasabha office. They also met Ashutosh Lahiri and Dr. Satya 
Prakash at the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan. On 20th January, Nathu- 
ram Godse, Apte, Karkare, Madanlal, Shankar, Gopal Godse and 
Badge met at the Marina Hotel. The same day in the evening, 
Madanlal exploded the gun cotton slab at the prayer meeting in the 
presence of Nathuram Godse. Godse and Apte fled from there and 
hurriedly left the hotel and then left for Kanpur by the night train 
where they reached the next morning. 

6.6 On the following day, they both stayed at the retiring room 
at the Kanpur Railway Station. On 22nd January they left Kanpur 
for Bombay by Punjab Mail and arrived at Bombay on 23rd Janu- 
ary, They stayed ;i day and a night at the Arya Pathik Ashram and 


shifted to Elphinstone Hotel Annexe on 24th January. On January 
25, Godse and Apte met Karkare and Gopal Godse at Ville Parle. 
The same day they booked seats for Delhi in the Air India plane for 
27th January under assumed names. On the same day, i.e., 25th, 
Godse and Apte obtained a loan of ten thousand rupees from one 
Pranjpe, really Bank Silver Company in Bombay. The money was 
paid by Pranjpe the next day partly (Rs, 8000-00) by cheque and 
partly in cash (Rs. 2000-00) which was supposed to be meant for 
the 'Hindu Rashtra'. On January 27, Godse and Apte came to Delhi 
by Air and the same afternoon went to Gwalior by the Grand Trunk 
Express and stayed with Dr. Parchure. The next day Goel brought 
them a revolver which was defective. Then Dandwate brought an- 
other revolver which was purchased by Godse for Rs, 300-00. Leav- 
ing Gwalior that evening they reached Delhi the next morning i e 
29th January, and stayed at the Delhi Main Railway Station in a 
retiring room (No. 6) . Karkare also stayed there with them. 

6.7 On 17th January, 1948, Godse had got from one Kale one 
thousand rupees and at Lalbaug he met Charandas and got a dona- | 
lion of five thousand rupees, showing that they were well provided 
wiih money. j 

6.8 Their movements of the 29th and 30th are important and 
therefore, they may be given at some length, Karkare had gone to 
Birla Dharmshala in the morning. Godse and Apte met him therp 
At about 1-00 p.m. Apte, Godse and Karkare went to the Old Delhi 
Railway Station and engaged retiring room No. 6. Godse gave his 
name as N. Vinayak Rao. Thereafter Apte, Godse and Karkare 
went to the maidan and took some decisions there. At 4-00 pm 
all three of them— Apte, Godse and Karkare— went to Birla House 
and found about 400 persons attending the prayer meeting They 
then returned to Old Delhi Railway Station. Ante and Karkare went 
to the pictures at New Delhi. It should have been added that Apte 
Godse, and Karkare went some time in the afternoon to the -jungle 
behind Birla Mandir and Godse fired three or four rounds with the 
pistol and buried handgrenades there. Apte and Karkare returned 
from the cinema some time after midnight. 

6.9 Now we come to the 30th January, the fateful day. On that 
day Apte, Karkare and Godse after having their breakfast at the 
Railway Station Restaurant went to Birla Mandir. Godse fired three 
or four rounds in the jungle behind Birla Mandir. At 11-30 am 
Godse returned to the Old Delhi Railway Station and Karkare went 
to the Madras Hotel. Karkare went to Old Delhi Railway Station 
and there met Apte and Godse at about 2-00 p.m. At 4-30 pm Ante 
Godse and Karkare left Delhi Railway Station by tonga and reached 
Birla Mandir. Godse went to Birla Mandir to have darshan of the 
deity there. Apte and Karkare then went to Birla House. Godse at 
about 5-00 p.m. shot at Mahatma Gandhi and was arrested there 

™ a SK- 6 i 00 . 1 P ' M - £ pt + e and Karkare left b ^ t( >nga and returned to 
Old Delhi Railway Station. 


6 ,o Apte was e^dently a better educated g^^Mgs B Dal 

„, ,,41-42 and then became a ^Sm^^i^ and ° f 

.,„,!. at that time had about 50 "Jg^g^ 1 ^ returned to 

Khlch Godse was a prominent w ™' b ^ t he obta ined his dis- 

., hm ,dnagar and was selected for ^ 

ltre after about four months and ^^^^^nged the black 
. Ar ,ani> in 1944 Hj j w£ §JJ^ con- 

demonstration at Panchgani a&"^ 1 
rnting to C.R. Formula. 

6 .U It is not necessary Jto gc , further ^f ^^3^ 
On 2nd or 3rd January 1948 ^Pje and Goose « ^^ 

„„1 met Karkare there C^l the, 13th ^January 1» , P ^ 

told Badge to deliver the arms and ammunmo j& 

ii,, Hindu Mahasabha office m. £°«^y. ' ^ dropped 

,te and Godse went to Bombayby^emng^n ana w ^ 

, ' Savarkar Sadan by one M ^J^^Mo^* Badge, Karkare, 
they met Savarkar at 7 - 30 /; M n .^ e ' M ^ai' and left the stuff, 

; ;,; e n arm H S o?S. Apte «tad . Badge ^^^^^M', 

lu ? elhl -e?VI iTthree of them went to the Bombay Dyeing 
Railway Station. All tnree oi uiem w Karkare and 

evening of 20th January, 1948. 
6.12 On the 18th January, 1948, Karkare met Apte near ^ House 

r«^P lAft for Kanpur by the night train after fleeing the Birla 

by Punjab Mail and reached Bombay on 23rd evening. 

cisr>r> -?l<5t Tanuarv 1948, Apte and Karkare left Delhi by 
& noif»S? Sess at 3 30 vm. the former travelled 2nd Class and 
4e lattor sXSss On 2nd February, 1948 Apte and Mare 
arrived in Bom bay ^d stayed at Sea Green Hotel. On 3rd February, 


1948, Apte and Karkare went to Klphinstono Annexe Hotel ana 
Apte contacted Miss Manorama Salvi. On 5th February, 1948, they 
went with G. M. Joshi to Thana. Apte and Karkare went to stay in 
Apollo Hotel on 13th February, 1948, and Apte was arrested at 
Pyrkes Apollo Hotel at Bombay on 14th February, 1948. 


6.14 Karkare was a hotel keeper of Ahmednagar and was a pro- 
minent member of the Hindu Mahasabha there. He used his 
moneys in furtherance of the cause of the Hindu Mahasabha and 
in that process he worked amongst the refugees and managed to 
attract to himself Madanlal, who made himself notorious in 
Ahmednagar by his violent activities against Muslims and against 
some Congress leaders like Raosahib Patwardhan. There is evi- 
dence to show that in starting his business Karkare got some assist- 
ance from N. D. Apte who was a school master in Ahmednagar at 
the time. 

6.15 He was mentioned by S. V. Ketkar as the person who had 
given him arms and ammunition which were found with Ketkar and* 
therefore, the hotel and house of Karkare were also searched. 
Godse and Apte met him at his hotel on January 2 or 3, 1948. He 
left Ahmednagar on January 6, 1948. On the 7th he met Apte at 
the 'Agrani' office. On 9th January he introduced Madanlal to 
Apte and in the afternoon took Madanlal to Badge's house to see 
the 'stuff' meaning arms and ammunition. On the 10th he went to 
Bombay and then to Thana to G. M. Joshi's house. On the 11th 
he met Madanlal at the Hindu Mahasabha office, Bombay, and then 
went to Chembur Camp with him. On 13th he went to see Savarkar 
but could not meet him and met him on the following day and intro- 
duced Madanlal to him. He then went with Madanlal to Professor 
Jam at about 6-00 p.m. On the 15th Apte, Badge and Karkare with 
Godse and Madanlal went to Bhuleshwar and met Dixitji Maharaj 
and took the 'stuff (arms and ammunition) from Dixitji Maharaj. 
Both Madanlal and Karkare left for Delhi by Peshawar Express 
and reached Delhi on January 17 along with one Angchekar and 
stayed at the Hindu Sharif Hotel. That evening Badge came to 
Birla Dharmshala where Karkare met him and they decided to meet 
the next morning, i.e., 18th. Karkare met Apte and Godse at -the 
Marina Hotel on the morning of the 18th and after having breakfast 
he along with Apte and Godse went to New Delhi Railway Station 
to meet Gopal Godse but Gopal Godse did not arrive. They then 
returned to Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan. At 11-30 a.m. on that day 
Godse gave a chit to Karkare for the Secretary, Hindu Mahasabha, 
for allotment of a room to him, and, as a consequence, room No 3 
was allotted to him. At 3-30 p.m. Apte, Godse and Karkare went 
to Birla House and then returned to Marina Hotel. Karkare had his 
dinner with Godse and Apte at the Marina Hotel and then went to 
New Delhi Railway Station to see if Gopal had arrived, but they did 
not find Gopal and they returned to the Marina Hotel for the night 
As a matter of fact, Gopal Godse arrived that evening and slept at 
the platform. * 


6.16 Next morning (on 19th) all three of them visited Birla House 
.mm I surveyed the prayer ground. Gopal arrived that day at the 
Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan at 11*30 a.m. Karkare and Madanlal re- 
in i nod to Sharif Hotel and in the evening they along with Gopal 
returned to Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan at about 8-00 p.m. At 9-0O 
f ivi. Madanlal and Karkare went to Gole Market and had their 
{heals there. The same evening, Apte, Badge, Karkare and Gopal dis- 
missed the plan for shooting at a meeting in the forest near Hindu 
Mahasabha Bhawan. Apte and Karkare then returned to Marina 
Hotel and slept there. Others went to the Hindu Mahasabha 
I'hawan. I 

6.17 On the 20th, Karkare came to the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan 
in the morning. At 12-30 p.m. Karkare and Madanlal left Hindu 
Mahasabha Bhawan and went to Birla House and then to Marina 
Hotel. Apte had his lunch there and others at the Madras Hotel. All 
subsequently met at Marina Hotel and armed themselves with 
various weapons. At 4-00 p.m. Madanlal and Karkare went to 
Birla House. Karkare and Gopal went and mixed with the congre- 
gation. At 4*45 p.m. the bomb was exploded. After the explosion^ 
Karkare went to Frontier Hindu Hotel and stayed in room No. 2. 
Copal Godse also went to the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan and then 
to the Frontier Hindu Hotel and stayed there in room No. 4 under 
the name Gopalan. 

6.18 On 21st, Karkare visited Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan and Old 
Delhi Railway Station. At 9-30 a.m. Gopal left from Old Delhi Rail- 
way Station for Bombay. Karkare left Frontier Hindu Hotel and 
shifted to the Railway Station at Old Delhi, 

6.19 On 22nd January 1948 Karkare was in Delhi and spent the 
night in the waiting room at Delhi Railway Station. Next day, i.e., 
23rd, Karkare left Delhi for Mathura at 3-00 p.m. and stayed in 
Mohan Gujarat Hotel as V. M. Vyas. Next day at 4-00 p.m. Karkare 

i went to Agra by bus and left Agra Cantt. for Itarsi by Madras Ex- 
press at 8*30 p.m. 

6.20 On 25th January, Karkare took the Allahabad Express and 
went to Kalyan and from there to Thana and stayed with G. M. 
Joshi. On the 26th January he and Gopal met Apte and Godse at 
the Thana Railway Station at 9*30 p.m. and that night Apte, Godse 
and Karkare met at Thana Railway Station and took decisions about 
Delhi. Apte paid three hundred rupees to Karkare for expenses. 

6.21 On 27th January, 1948, Karkare had his morning meals with 
Joshi. At 12 • 30 p.m. he left Thana for Dadar and posted some letters 
at L. J. Road Mahim, At 3-00 p.m. Karkare bought his ticket at the 
Bombay Central Railway Station for Delhi and left Bombay by 
Frontier Mail at 5-45 p.m. reaching Delhi at 8-30 p.m. on 28th. He 
stayed in the retiring room. ' 

6.22 On 29th January, Karkare went to Birla Dharmshala and 
kept his bedding there where' Godse and Apte met him. At 1*00 p.m, 
Apte, Godse and Karkare went to Old Delhi Railway Station and 
6—259 HA. 

stayed at retiring room No. 6. At 4-00 p.m. Karkare went to Birla 
House with Apte and Godse where about 400 persons had collected. 
They then returned to Old Delhi Railway Station, 

6.23 On the 30th, after breakfast at the railway station restau- 
rant, Apte, Karkare and Godse went to Birla Mandir and Godse 
practised shooting in the jungle behind. At 11-30 a.m. Karkare 
went to Madras Hotel and met Apte and Godse at the Delhi Railway 
Station retiring room at 2-00 p.m. At 3-30 p.m. Apte, Godse and 
Karkare left New Delhi Railway Station and went to Birla Mandir 
and from there Apte and Karkare went to Birla House and, as 
already stated, Godse shot at Mahatma Gandhi. Apte and Karkare 
then fled to the Old Delhi Railway Station at 6-00 p.m. and stayed 
the night on the platform along with the refugees. 

6.24 On 31st January 1948, both Apte and Karkare left Delh. 
Railway Station for Itarsi and there Karkare got the Allahabad Ex- 
press and reached Kalyan on 2nd February, 1948, and then went to 
stay at Sea Green Hotel at Bombay. On 4th February 1948 he and 
Apte met Joshi and on the 5th February they went to stay with him. ' 
On the 7th February also he was with Joshi. On 9th February 1948 
he went to Poona reaching there in the morning of 10th February. 
On that day he slept at the platform among the refugees. On 11th 
February he went to Dhond by Madras Express and returned to 
Poena at 9-30 p.m. and went to Lonavala and from there to Thana. 
He met Joshi on the 13th February and then stayed at the Apollo 
Hotel. He was arrested from there on 14th February, 1948. 

Gopal Godse 

6.25 On the 14th Jaxuiary, 1948, Nathuram gave him two hundred 
rupees to get a revolver and at the instance of his brother, Gopal 
left Bombay and went by Punjab Mail to Delhi reaching there on 
the 18th January and slept at the platform at night. Next morning 
he went to Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan and met Karkare, Nathuram 
Godse and Apte and then went to Birla House to survey the sur- 
roundings. Thereafter he went to Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan. 

6.26 After the explosion on the 20th he stayed at the Frontier 
Hotel and left it on the 21st January and left Delhi at 9-30 a.m. 
and reached Bombay at 11-00 a.m. on the 22nd and from there went 
to Kirkee reaching there at 5-00 p.m. On 24th January Apte went 
to see him to inquire about the revolver and also asked him to 
accompany him to Bombay. On 25th January Gopal gave Nathuram 
a revolver and then went to Thana at Joshi's p]ace where he met 
Karkare and then returned to Poona. 

Badge j 

6.27 Badge's movements might also be given. He reached Delhi 
at 10 -DO p.m. on 19th January, 1948 and went to the Hindu Maha- 
sabha office where he met Madanlal and GopaL Later, Apte, Karkare 
and Godse came to see him. 


0.28 On 20th January he went to Birla House for surveying 
l«, etc., and then'returned to the Hindu Mahasabha office 
.Id |.m he again went to Birla House with others and after 


explosion he fled from there and with Shankar caught 
in war Express at 10-00 p.m. at the Delhi Railway Station 
■hwl Kalyan on 22nd January and from there proceeded to Poona 
vim' there at 4-00 p.m. He went for Devi yatra m the jungles of 
na on the 30th and returned to Poona on the 31st when he was 
■ted. ' ' 

0.29 It is not necessary to set out Shankar's movements 
|)o Is stated to have been with Badge. 


£^W33§ b m^mmsDicTwx of the commbsshw 

ihdex of Paragraphs 
2.3 Sambasivam Case (PC.) and Supreme .Court's case. 
7,9 Mr. Justice Bhandari's findings. 

X13 Res Judicata. 

?,16 Christie^ and Timothy's cases. 

.?} si-it **g *>>-/;.-. iai?. 

Jurisdiction of the Commission 

7.1 The main objection to the jurisdiction of the Commission to 
make an Inquiry into the conduct of the police, i.e., its shortcomings, 
its inaction or its acts of commission or omission, its negligence in 
the matter of investigation of the bomb case, was raised in an ap- 
plication by Mr. J. D. Nagarvala, wit. 83. His main contention 
against the jurisdiction of this Commission was based on the ground 
that after the strictures passed by the learned trial judge, Judge 
Atma Charan, the High Court came to a different conclusion; and 
that once a court or a competent tribunal has come to the conclusion 
on a point in controversy in a criminal matter that becomes res 
judicata and cannot be reopened and the decision is binding and 
conclusive in all subsequent proceedings between the parties to the 
ftd judication. 

7.2 Although no judgment was relied upon, the law on the sub- 
ject is well settled; i.e., if in a criminal court a verdict is given on 
a matter which is in controversy, then the matter must be treated 
as res judicata and cannot be reopened by any court or tribunal. 

7.3 The matter was so decided by the Privy Council in Sambasi- 
vam v. Public Prosecutor, Federal of Malaya 1 , and the Supreme 
Court of India stated the law under section 403 of the Criminal 
Procedure Code in terms similar to that stated by the Privy Council 
in Pritam Singh v. State of Punjab 2 . In Sambasivam v. Public 
Prosecutor the Privy Council laid down the following proposition: — 

"The effect of a verdict of acquittal pronounced by a com- 
petent court on a lawful charge and after a lawful trial 
is not completely stated by saying that the person acquit- 
ted cannot be tried again for the same offence. To that 
it must be added that the verdict is binding and conclu- 
sive in all subsequent proceedings between the parties 
to the adjudication. 
The maxim 'res judicata pro veritate accipitur' is no less ap- 
plicable to criminal than to civil proceedings. Here, the 
appellant having been acquitted at the first trial on the 
charge of having ammunition in his possession, the pro- 
secution was bound to accept the correctness of that ver- 
dict and was precluded from taking any steps to challenge 
it at the second trial." 
Therefore, it was contended that if in the Gandhi Murder Cose, 
which comprised the offence of bomb throwing, attempt to murder, 
and murder, the conduct of the police or the quality of their inves- 
tigation of the Bomb Case, i.e., whether they investigated any par- 

1. (1950) A.C. 548. 

2. (1956) A. SC. 415.